Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

The importance of exercising courage

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I’ve recently had several experiences that required me to get out of my comfort zone. The subject of courage has becoming particularly important and meaningful to me in recent weeks and months.


Different situations in my consulting work and with family members have required me to dig deep, to exercise courage despite my fears. One of those situations was with a member of my team who was not acting as a team player. Because of some things that had happened he had a chip on his shoulder; he wanted to work on things that were not his priority, and didn’t want to do the work the team needed him to do.

I decided the only way to make it right was to confront him, to talk to him with complete clarity about the issues. I pulled him aside, pointed out the things he was doing and let him know he could either change and become a team player or there was no place for him on the team. I was fair, and I also did not mince words.

Fortunately, this individual took my feedback well and is in the process of becoming a team player. I will work with him through this, I will give him the chance to become make it right. The courage I exercised when I had the initial discussion is starting to pay dividends.

When you exercise courage, you can expect at least the following three benefits:

  • Courage conveys confidence. When you face fears and act with courage, you become more confident. As your confidence increases, those around you start to notice. The combination of courage and confidence makes you more valuable to those around you.
  • Courage drives decisions. Making decisions is one of the most difficult things we do. It requires courage. As we exercise courage, making decisions comes more easily. And acting decisively will expand our courage.
  • Courage scores strength. Ok, I admit I’m stretching my alliterative capabilities a bit far here with ‘scores’ but hopefully you get the point. Courage builds strength within us. Through the eyes of courage, we see ourselves with clarity, and that clarity makes us stronger when we’re doing the right things.

You no-doubt face difficult situations every day. Decide—now—to face your fears with courage. You have what you need, just believe in yourself.

Questions: Why is courage important to you? What is holding you back from having the courage to act? Please leave a comment in the space below.

The Product Management Perspective: The courage I wrote about above comes through my work as a product manager. The opportunities to lead with courage happen daily. You become the true leader of your product team as you exercise courage.

One thought on “The importance of exercising courage

  1. Pingback: The determination to do | Lead on Purpose

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