Courage – The Ultimate Competitive Advantage

We often associate courage with a “fight”, but courage in business has a much broader context.  Webster’s defines courage as “the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.”  The obstacle we are concerned with here is “difficulty”.

Difficulty is everywhere in a workplace, and it is in a constant state of conflict with your business courage.  What gets in the way of your courage at work?  Most often the “Too’s”.

Too much hierarchy.Untitled

Too disruptive

Too hard

Too busy

Too many risks, not enough guarantees

The five “too’s” above stifle 99% of courage in the workplace.  Why is that important?  If you don’t let it stifle you, you will be in the 1% of professionals that lean into your fears.

Most often in business situations it’s the problem itself that holds the keys to success.  But professionals, for all the reasons above, will shy away from tackling the problem head on.  They yield “too” fear.  In many ways fear is hardwired into our psyche, so this should be no surprise.  We are hard built to be cautious, therefor the term Central “Nervous” System.

But here is a cold hard fact facing all of us, without change and professional evolution, 40% of all companies that exists today will be gone in the next 10 years.

Here is another fact, whatever it is that keeps you up at night, that threatens your business most directly, that is what you need to lean into, and now.

Are you afraid of being irrelevant because your product might be replaced by a better one?  Be the person that invents the better product.

Are you afraid of losing market share because your competitor is out-marketing you?  Invest the time needed into market research and creativity to out-market them.

Sounds easy in concept?  Then ask the hard question – when is the last time you did it?