It is important to challenge the popular image of courageous leadership, which in the public imagination is inextricably interlinked with the exercise of power and authority. People often paint a picture in their mind of somebody who knows all the answers and can drive and communicate decisions through their own sense of certainty and will. In nearly every case, especially in an HR context, that is a false picture.
This paper looks to highlight that the best leaders are in fact often those that do not make all the decisions, do not have all the right answers and are prepared to admit that. It takes great strength to admit vulnerability and acknowledge that you do not know everything.
The paper highlights that it is important to have a vision and give direction, but it is genuinely courageous to turn to the intelligent teams you have within the organisation and draw on their help.
The paper takes a distinctive stance on the question of courageous leadership, arguing that good leadership is about acknowledging what you do not know and reaching out to your people to fill in the gaps, and it is also about learning when to move on. Being able to acknowledge when you can add little further value to the business and allow someone else to take the reins is perhaps, in senior leadership, the most courageous act of all.
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