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Our recently released Leadership Character Insight Assessment (LCIA) defines and measures leadership character. The LCIA measures 11 dimensions of character, each of which breaks down into specific elements that can be observed as situationally appropriate behaviors (see Figure 1). Last time, we focused on Judgment. Today, we move to Courage.
Figure 1: LCIA dimensions and elements
In the LCIA, we define courage as:
Courage is a key enabler of the forward momentum required to achieve the sense of purpose and optimism associated with Transcendence. There are many challenges that arise with exercising Integrity, Justice, and Temperance. Courage is essential to overcoming these obstacles and challenges. To open yourself to the empathy and compassion associated with Humanity requires Courage and, in particular, the resilience associated with it. This is because Humanity may bring with it feelings of pain, suffering, and discontent.
Courage is further defined into the following 5 key elements:
In his article for the Ivey Business Journal, Peter Voyer draws on his experience in the Canadian Military and outlines how his leaders demonstrated “courage and in doing so, motivated and lead their subordinates through the dangerous Afghan landscape”. To be successful in this environment a leader needed to:
While the stakes may not be as high in your corporate environment, courage is no less critical for motivating and supporting your staff.
“Leadership (and its key constituent – courage) is not something to simply bring forward to exercise at opportune times. It must be practiced day in and day out. Courage is the centerpiece of leadership, and commonly and rightly, it is understood to be a critical component of success in military operations. Yet courage must prevail and be exercised in the corporate realm, where it is also critical. As we know, courage is not only a necessary core component of effective leadership. It is the platform – the requisite platform – on which other important tenets of leadership are built.”