12 Steps For Courageous Leadership: Start your Journey now!

12 Steps For Courageous Leadership: Start your Journey now!


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It's not easy being a leader. It takes courage and commitment, the willingness to step out of our comfort zone, the need to readily adapt to change, and the obligation to develop our skill set and the skills within our organization.

To some this is fearful. Dealing with the unknown or facing a known weakness creates discomfort. Another way to look at it is that courage and commitment are required to become a stronger leader. Embracing both the fear and courage emotions we feel can actually be inspirational!

After observing many leaders who have come through PeopleTek programs, we noticed that the ones who are successful both in life and work have a specific set of characteristics and behaviors.

Living your life with courage is how it all begins! Courage is the single most important attribute any leader must have in order to be effective and successful. We call this "CourageAbility"™. CourageAbility is the ability to live both your dreams and professional life the way you want, while achieving your goals and exceeding in your life's ambitions and objectives. It is taking and empowering yourself and others to go where you or they have never gone before.

The 12 CourageAbility factors include:

1. Passion - Having and living your dream.
2. Documenting your goals.
3. Committing to your goals.
4. Understanding your strengths and the strengths of others.
5. Communicating with confidence and clarity.
6. Understanding and managing conflict with a purpose.
7. Developing others.
8. Delegating.
9. Developing a skill.
10. Remaining controlled.
11. Rewarding and recognizing.
12. Succeeding and learning from failure.

A CourageAbility self assessment is provided; identify your high and low scores and determine how closely your behaviors align with your beliefs!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781456719371
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 04/27/2011
Pages: 84
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.17(d)

Read an Excerpt

12 Steps For Courageous Leadership

Start your Journey now!
By Michael W. Kublin Jan Mayer-Rodriguez


Copyright © 2011 Michael W. Kublin with Jan Mayer-Rodriguez
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4567-1937-1

Chapter One


What is it and how can it help us?

"To succeed, one must possess an effective combination of ability, ambition, courage, drive, hard work, integrity, and loyalty." - Harry F. Banks

It's not easy being a leader. It takes courage and commitment, the willingness to step out of our comfort zone, the need to readily adapt to change, and the obligation to develop our skill set and the skills within our organization.

To some this is fearful. Dealing with the unknown or facing a known weakness creates discomfort. Another way to look at it is that courage and commitment are required to become a stronger leader. Embracing both the fear and courage emotions we feel can actually be inspirational!

We have identified 12 areas that can de-rail our ability to be successful. This can be due to fear, or lacking the courage to:

1. Passion- Have and live your dream.

2. Document your goals.

3. Commit to your goals.

4. Understand your strengths and the strengths of others.

5. Communicate with confidence and clarity.

6. Understand and manage conflict with a purpose.

7. Develop others.

8. Delegate.

9. Develop a skill.

10. Remain controlled.

11. Reward and recognize.

12. Succeed and learn from failure.

You may say we are missing an important one: risk taking. I've thought about this long and hard and if you have the courage and commitment to have and live your dream you will demonstrate enough risk for a lifetime.

While working with individuals I often ask a question with the intent to determine what they're passionate about: "If you could do anything you wanted in your career and life what would it be?" With the follow-up question "What are you willing to do to live that dream?"

Many of us would say we will do anything, work unlimited hours, and be willing to encounter failures to have our dream come true. Having the ability to identify our dream is the first step, this then needs to be followed with applying daily actions to achieve and live it.

This is not easy and requires you as a leader to take risks and maybe fail. You must get up, dust yourself off, and take more risks until your dream is realized. The real courage comes in taking the necessary actions to overcome the barriers you are faced with.

Whether leading in the corporate world, in private business, a public sector, or as an entrepreneur, we hope the 12 Steps For Courageous Leadership serve you well!

Chapter Two

CourageAbility Step 1 of 12

Courage to have and live your dream.

Why do you think this is problematic for some? To start with, not everyone allows themselves to envision or identify their dream. They conduct day to day activities, are almost on "automatic pilot", do what they need to do to be moderately successful, but don't take the time to reflect on what really makes them thrive and feel valuable.

Some individuals dream only small dreams afraid of dreaming "big". What if that dream comes true? Why not make it all it can be? Some let others tell them what their dream should be rather than creating their own. How can others know what you truly want? Only you understand and have unlimited vision to your dreams; don't let others squelch your enthusiasm (even if it's someone you respect and appreciate).

What is your dream? What would make you truly happy? What would it take to begin to make progress towards achieving this dream? Have you established steps and a timeline? Some dreams take decades to achieve. Be realistic and realize that nothing happens overnight and that obstacles are not unusual but certainly can be overcome.

I attended a conference and a very special person, Dr. Myles Monroe said, "There are many in the cemetery who have not lived their dream". He said some individuals want to but always have excuses or other things they are doing. We can choose today not to be one of those people and put out our dream and take steps towards living it.

Write down your dream, summon the courage to take action,

Chapter Three

CourageAbility Step 2 of 12

Courage to document your goals

"People who have goals achieve far more than those who don't, and those who have written goals achieve the most of all". -Robert McGarvey

Forrest H. Patton, a motivational speaker and author of Force of Persuasion, provides the following about having goals:

"A study was made of alumni 10 years out of Harvard to find out how many were achieving their goals," explains Patton. "An astounding 83 percent had no goals at all. Fourteen percent had specific goals but they were not written down. Their average earnings were three times what those in the 83 percent group were earning. However, the three percent who had written goals were earning 10 times that of the 83 percent group."

Why? Goals keep us moving forward. They help us focus and track progress towards what we'd like to achieve. No one knows why a written goal is more effective than one that's known and understood but not committed to paper. Some psychologists theorize that writing triggers important processes in the subconscious, which in turn inspires action towards achieving those written goals.

Remember, goals bring clarity and require action.

Think in terms of what, how and when and think SMART

S pecific

M easurable

A chievable and actionable

R ealistic

T ime-bound

Start small. You may want to write down one or two goals you can accomplish this year, a few more in the five year range, and one to accomplish over your lifetime. Understand that goals can be changed or dropped – the idea is to keep on target with what you truly want to achieve and remember, they must be measurable and have a completion date. Happy goal setting!

Chapter Four

CourageAbility Step 3 of 12

Commit to your goals

"Reality forms around your commitments. The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself to it". - Max Steingart

Here's a simple plan to get you started with your commitment:

  •   Verify the goals you set are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable and actionable, realistic and with time frames)

  •   Remove fear; understand what's causing you discomfort, feel it, process it, and then face it head on

  •   Ensure the goals you set are YOURS; don't try to live someone else's dream

  •   Review progress weekly, if not daily. Don't beat yourself up if you're not on target; rather determine other courses of action that may work better for you

  •   Don't judge anything you did as "wrong" if you missed your goal or target; change how you're addressing that goal

  •   Celebrate your successes! Even small milestones can be motivating; as you make progress towards achieving a goal do something for YOU

    Did you know it's not uncommon to have a fear for achieving your goal? Some feel an uncertainty and lack the confidence to understand and embrace how their life/career may change. They'd rather resort back to their comfort level and the "known". Winners know they will feel discomfort and don't let it impact their behavior or detract from their objective.

    Others have a fear of being viewed as a failure if they do not attain their goal and as a result resist being committed to a goal. While we all experience failure at times, those that make commitments feel the fear but do it anyway.

    Still others listen to the "chatter" of others who may disagree with the goals that were set. This can sink us quicker than quicksand! Please don't let anyone else's dreams become yours. Their fears will feed into yours and you will quickly and willingly let go of what you desire most. We work with a lot of people who say their dream is to become rich only to let someone else tell them what they plan to do to get it won't work. How do they know?

    What would it take for you to get excited and motivated to achieve your goals? Don't be ashamed of your reason to attain your goals as that will impact your commitment. Your goals could be a promotion, wealth beyond your wildest dreams, security for your family, etc.

    Determine what you really want, make a plan, commit to it, and go for it!

    Chapter Five

    CourageAbility Step 4 of 12

    Understanding your strengths and the strengths of others

    "You need to find people that compliment your skills in the key positions within your company." - Michael Lake

    Many of us know what our strengths are, know where we have opportunities to grow, and enjoy the feeling of being appreciated and adding value to our organization. Those who solicit regular feedback and validate their feelings become even more self aware and confident and can focus on maintaining their strengths and lessening their growth areas.

    But what about your colleagues, team members, and subordinates? How aware are you of their strengths? Do you surround yourself and build your team based on filling voids or do you prefer to seek talent and behaviors similar to yours?

    It takes courage to let others "take the wheel and drive"; we as leaders need to understand the strengths within our teams, take a step back, and let others do what they do best.

    This means facing our fears and apprehensions, understanding we can't be everything to everyone, having a willingness to let go, and enabling others to excel. Letting go takes tremendous courage. We've done so many tasks for so many years (some came easy to us, others did not), did them because we felt we had to, and now have the opportunity to let others shine and leverage their strengths.

    Most of us have completed leadership assessments (Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Team Dimensions, etc.) where our preferences are identified. It's amazing to see just how clear the preferred roles and associated strengths are for each individual.

    How successful would your team be if everyone had the same strengths and similar weaknesses? Clue: Remember that overusing a strength may result in becoming a weakness, and that no style is right or wrong, good or bad.

    Build a network, get connected to the key people in your organization who are critical to your mission and goals and ensure the team members also understand one another's strengths. Understanding individual and team strengths and linking them with goal achievement will lend itself to growing your bottom line.

    Know the strength(s) of each of your team members and leverage them to inspire success at both the individual and team levels.

    Chapter Six

    CourageAbility Step 5 of 12

    Communicate with confidence and clarity

    "The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." - George Bernard Shaw

    Do you have a clear understanding of how your leader, customers, and shareholders wish to be communicated with? Do your staff and peers have a clear understanding of how YOU want to be communicated with? Does everyone know what is expected of them in terms of what should be communicated when?

    Keys to being an effective communicator:

  •   Know that both over-communicating and under-communicating are problematic

  •   Provide timely and well intended feedback

  •   Be an active listener

  •   Pick the best channel of communication

    Picking the right channel of communication is a key skill for all leaders. To do this well you have to understand the richness of the channel and the type of message best suited for that channel.

    Channels of Communication (in order of richness)

    Face to face. Why is this the richest? Think about tone of voice, posture, gestures, eye contact, and body position.

    Telephone. What items do you retain here? Which do you lose?

    Computer/email/instant messaging. These modes limit you to text sharing only. Some people try to use smiling faces, phrases in parentheses, italics, or bold type to denote their emotional perspective, but the message, or its importance may not be correctly understood.

    Memos/letters. This is pretty much one size fits all - everyone on the distribution list gets the same message.

    Bulletins/Facebook/Twitter/general reports. This is meant for the widest possible audience and you have no knowledge as to who read them.

    Given this, all channels of communication serve a purpose dependent on what's being communicated. We recommend that you know your audience and the message, identify the intent, list the main points and then choose the channel of communication that is the best fit.

    We also suggest anticipating questions and being prepared with responses. Some key questions to help you prepare include:

  •   What is going to happen?

  •   Why is it going to happen?

  •   How is it going to happen?

  •   When is it going to happen?

  •   Who is it going to impact and how?

  •   How will concerns be addressed?

    Taking the time to choose your ideal communication channel and preparing for questions (and maybe even resistance) will allow you to deliver your message with clarity and confidence.

    CH7[ CourageAbility Step 6 of 12

    Understanding and managing conflict with a purpose

    "Successful leaders manage conflict; they don't shy away from it or suppress it but see it as an engine of creativity and innovation ..." - Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky

    "Without conflict there is no leadership." - Tom Kurtz, Executive and Career Coach

    While the "Without conflict there is no leadership" quote is controversial, we can assure you that levels of healthy conflict are very good. The best leaders are those that know they need to stretch others and help individuals and teams be the best they can be. Without healthy conflict this won't occur. In fact if you are not experiencing any conflict you may want to ask yourself "why".

    At PeopleTek, we have recently observed some entrepreneurs and found that they are constantly asking others to "push the envelope". They know this is good for everyone, and although some individuals don't like it, strong leaders know they must take others where they've never gone before. Believe us, this will create conflict!

    When many people hear the word "conflict" they think of negative situations. It may be, or in its simplest form, it may mean a disagreement or difference of opinion which can be inspirational and lend itself to creativity and growth. Problems arise when differences are not managed: ill feelings surface, morale diminishes, and productivity suffers .

    Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilman indicate there are 5 modes in which conflict may be managed. Some styles sound like they may be "better" than others but in reality there is no right or wrong style and all five modes are useful when used in the appropriate situation .

    The 5 Conflict Modes Are:

  •   Competing - This is a power oriented mode and is assertive and uncooperative; the individual pursues his or her own interest at the expense of the other person.

  •   Accommodating - This is the opposite of competing and is unassertive and cooperative. The accommodating person neglects their own concerns to satisfy the concerns of others.

  •   Avoiding - Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. The individual does not pursue their own concern or those of another person.

  •   Collaborating - This is the opposite of avoiding where the individual is both assertive and cooperative and works to satisfy all of the concerns of everyone.

  •   Compromising – This falls between competing and accommodating and is both assertive and cooperative, a mutually acceptable solution is reached, and both parties make concessions to resolve the issue.

    (Continues...) ]CH7

    Excerpted from 12 Steps For Courageous Leadership by Michael W. Kublin Jan Mayer-Rodriguez Copyright © 2011 by Michael W. Kublin with Jan Mayer-Rodriguez. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

  • Table of Contents


    Author's Note....................xi
    Chapter 1 - CourageAbility What is it and how can it help us?....................1
    Chapter 2 - CourageAbility Step 1 of 12 Courage to have and live your dream....................5
    Chapter 3 - CourageAbility Step 2 of 12 Courage to document your goals....................7
    Chapter 4 - CourageAbility Step 3 of 12 Commit to your goals....................9
    Chapter 5 - CourageAbility Step 4 of 12 Understanding your strengths and the strengths of others....................13
    Chapter 6 - CourageAbility Step 5 of 12 Communicate with confidence and clarity....................15
    Chapter 7 - CourageAbility Step 6 of 12 Understanding and managing conflict with a purpose....................19
    Chapter 8 - CourageAbility Step 7 of 12 Grow and develop others....................23
    Chapter 9 - CourageAbility Step 8 of 12 Effective delegation....................27
    Chapter 10 - CourageAbility Step 9 of 12 Develop a skill....................29
    Chapter 11 - CourageAbility Step 10 of 12 Remain controlled....................31
    Chapter 12 - CourageAbility Step 11 of 12 Reward and recognize....................35
    Chapter 13 - CourageAbility Step 12 of 12 Succeed and learn from failure....................39
    Chapter 14 - CourageAbility Putting it all together....................41

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