Research & Insights – Leading Change with Courage


Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of losing control, fear of being blamed.
How does a leader harness their fear when leading change? How does a leader use it to strengthen their resolve and transform their organisation and their people to great things?

We believe it’s with courage, with trust and with empowerment – from the top level existing leaders, right down to the foundations of emerging leaders. Courage to make decisions around the changes that need to be made, trust that leaders and their teams will continue the journey of change that has been started and empowerment of people – trusting and honouring the intuition of colleagues and peers as they adapt to the changes that have been made.

Change is the New Black

After reading the fabulous Manifesto written by Alan Lewis entitled “Change is the New Constant” I recalled the statement I heard some time ago that ‘Change was the new black’. For people to adopt this concept stylists need to promote it. To convert this concept to the business world we need leaders unleashing the courage to embrace the change.

Thriving in Change

When I was working for a multinational automotive manufacturer in 1998 I attended a seminar where I heard (and retained!) one of my favourite quotes – “the only certainty is the constant surrender to change…” and now we are encouraged not to merely surrender to change but to thrive in change.

Thought for the Quarter

When I think of courage in the context of leadership, I’m aware of a shifting groundswell of an evolution in emerging leaders. A growing number of people waking up to a fresh understanding around what leadership is and what it requires of them. A realisation that leadership comes from a strong and powerfully intimate connection to within. Self-leadership which spans not only how a person shows up in a work environment but across their whole life because it is who they are being, not any longer a role they play. They realise that the old version of courage meant how long they could brave out a situation by pushing and making things happen, how well they could manipulate the truth and convince others through hidden agendas and control strategies.

The new understanding of courage in leadership defines courage as the willingness to be vulnerable, real and honest with themselves and those around them. They realise that vulnerabilty doesn’t mean ‘open to attack’ or weak but rather that they trust themselves enough to show up and go for the truth in a situation no matter what comes up and challenges them. They look at what’s happening from an aware observer viewpoint and not only to jump in and respond to a situation on the surface but more importantly go to what’s really going on in the foundation of the issue thereby transforming rather than band-aiding. They can be seen as a maverick but are certain of who they are and have learned to be independent of the good opinion of others. They lead daringly from their heart (courage coming from an old French word cor or cuer which means heart or with heart) and while they use their expert rational and logical intelligence, they don’t override their heart intelligence and amalgamate the two seamlessly.

I, for one am excited by the courage that it requires to embrace this view on leadership and freed up by the empowerment that comes with taking personal responsibility.

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