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Leadership Thought #268 – Always Remember To Have The Courage Of Your Convictions and Speak Your Truth

December 21, 2011

Free Woman in a Blazer Holding Microphone Stock Photo

It is not always easy to have the courage of your convictions.

Not every audience member is ready to hear what you have to say but say it anyway if you believe in your message.  Sometimes a little resistance is good.  It forces you to work on your delivery and thought process. It also means you may be challenging conventional wisdom and forcing people to get outside of their comfort zone.  A leader’s job is not to make everyone happy or validate individual misconceptions but to put a spotlight on the truth as he/she sees it.  Conflict and misunderstanding are part of life, but when managed properly they can lead to a deeper agreement, greater commitment, and better results. Never fall into the trap of telling people what they want to hear unless it also aligns with what they need to hear.

Courage is a prerequisite to accomplishing remarkable things.  Understandably, it can be uncomfortable at times.  Being willing to step out on the ledge and deal with reality is not always easy but important if you want to lead people.  I’ve always felt that the best leaders avoid going through the motions and checking off boxes just to say they got something done.  Because they are driven by the right intentions and genuinely care about results, they will do the heavy lifting necessary to get there.  A major part of this burden often involves communication.

Most people, if they don’t like what they are hearing, will tune you out or get immediately defensive.  When this happens, it’s tempting to simply play to the crowd or get defensive yourself. Getting people to truly listen to what you have to say can be difficult in even the most professional environments.   However, as one of my colleagues is fond of saying, “leaders need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable and then doing what’s right rather than what’s convenient.”  Always remember to have the courage of your convictions and speak your truth.