Why Leading Bravely Is Key To Entrepreneurial Success
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Over the course of my career, I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and thousands of leaders.
And there’s one quality that the most successful of them all have in common.
It’s not intelligence.
It’s not charisma.
The best—and maybe the only—way to be a truly great leader is to be brave.
Bravery in the Face of Uncertainty
It sounds like a platitude, a statement of the obvious. Of course being a leader requires bravery.
But so much of what we are taught about building a business focuses on other skills: analyzing data, hiring teams, acquiring customers. Leadership becomes a proxy word for having the skillset to run a company.
Those things are important, but they aren’t leadership itself.
Here’s what leadership is: having the courage to make decisions in the face of uncertainty.
Because make no mistake. There will be uncertainty, almost all of the time. You must make decisions under less than ideal conditions, ranging from relatively uncertain to ridiculously uncertain.
Is that new role what you need to help your company grow?
Are you hiring the right person to fill that role?
Does your value proposition speak to your audience?
Can you sell your product?
Does your business model work?
Leadership is making big decisions with incomplete information. It’s acknowledging that you might be wrong but trusting yourself enough to see whether you are right. And it’s asking others to follow you down the path you’ve chosen without a guarantee of how things will turn out.
That’s hard, challenging work. No wonder not everyone’s cut out for it.
Living Bravely Is Leading
Great leaders do what they think is right, all the time. They’re brave enough to do things that are awkward, uncomfortable, or downright difficult.
And great leaders don’t enjoy the hard stuff any more than the rest of us.
They feel the fear of failure. They worry about being wrong.
But they take action anyway.
This post is the first in a series on what it means to lead bravely. In future segments, we’ll explore how to make better decisions when uncertainty exists, how to protect your confidence, and how to maintain a healthy team.
You cannot be a perfect leader. But, starting today, you can commit to being a brave one.