Centering at Work
Courage is a Discipline
by Sandra Ford Walston
of your position or title at work, ask yourself these questions
to determine how you demonstrate courage-centering at work:
Issue 14 | April 2011
The Role of HR in Managing Effective Business Travel
is known as The Courage Expert and innovator of STUCKThinking™.
She is an internationally recognised speaker,
learning consultant, author and entrepreneur for almost
twenty years who helps organizations, teams and individuals
tap into their courage. She found that there is a
direct correlation between your success quotient and
your courage quotient. She helped organizations from
Agrium, Inc., Procter & Gamble, Teletech International,
Auburn and Virginia Commonwealth University, Woodhull
Institute, and Wide Open West to integrate her “Courageous
Leadership Development Model.” She also instructs
at the University of Denver.
on the speaker circuit as witty, provocative, concrete
and insightful, she has changed the lives of thousands
of leaders each year. Sandra’s the internationally
published author of three books: COURAGE, STUCK and
FACE IT! 12 Obstacles that Hold You Back on the Job
(2011). She has also been published in numerous magazines
Learning Officer, Strategic
Finance and HR
is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator® and she is a certified Enneagram
teacher. Sign up for her courage Blog
or free courage newsletter. To learn more about how
Sandra can help your business cultivate success or
to purchase a copies of her books, please visit www.sandrawalston.com.
can also reach Sandra at email@example.com.
For copies of this article or reprints, please contact
Do I feel a sense of joy in my work?
What leadership archetype would employees ascribe to me, such
as the “boss, caregiver, mentor, perfectionist, sage,”
Do I strive above all else to leave a daily courage legacy that
Do my employees or peers see me as genuine and real?
Do I feel exalted by my vision?
Does my language encourage or discourage?
Do my employees or peers take personal responsibility for the
experiences they create?
Does my leadership style substitute humility for vanity?
How stuck am I in my belief system or “positionality”?
Do I belittle “touchy-feely” behaviours versus displaying
and celebrating gratitude?
On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the highest), how enlightened are
my leadership skills?
Are my employees or peers innately motivated to achieve the desired
Do I work in a proactive or reactive company?
Do I hire people (or does HR) with instinctual courageous leadership
Can I imagine a workforce of self-propelled employees centered
Do my employees/peers perceive me as credible?
When was the last time I had an “aha” insight about
my leadership tendencies?
and disruptions that hinder an organisation’s advancement
rarely have to do with an unskilled CEO, manager or support staff.
The keystone to success as well as spiritual progress at work requires
the ability for an organisation to design and implement a noble
legacy that transcends generations. Why does this happen so infrequently?
Organisations hover around being “good”, not “great.”
stuck am I in my belief system or “positionality”?
courage comes from a place deep within each of us, not from synapses
firing based on intellectual prowess, education, titles or credentials.
Courage is much more than brains or mental capabilities, it is a
discipline. Demonstrating courageous leadership at work and living
a courageous life come from an energy springing from an individual’s
deepest values, motivation, and attitudes: the authentic self.
would motivate you to explore where this ancient virtue fits into
your workplace today? Why would you want to exhibit the efficiency
that goes along with courage? The answer: you will discover that
there is an indisputable direct correlation between your “courage
quotient” and your “success quotient.” But first
it takes knowing the components of courage and then conscientiously
applying them. Mastering your courage is not a mechanical process.
The challenge you face is for you to be yourself, but with more
know-how—a distinction between a superhuman hero and cultivating
is the ability to call forth your everyday true Self to action—to
lead from your heart and spirit. Claiming and displaying your courage
at work and demonstrating courage-centering behaviours require you
to invite your heart and spirit into your daily work life. It’s
an approach and a focus (not a programme) that keeps you vital.
Courage-centering in the workplace promotes an ability for you to
think on your feet;
tackle issues as the facts happen;
sponsor challenges to the status quo;
endorse “courage change agents”;
let go of condemnation and judgment;
instill courageous will;
replace biased views with dispassionate statements; and
escalate team dynamics to “step up” to the next level.
improves your understanding of who you are and affirms the power
within you. These qualities can be honed by anyone willing to dig
deeply into their true selves. Once “groomed,” courage
becomes a resource to draw from at work and at home, and you will
find that it is easily transferred to others so they can find courage
within themselves. Then, courage becomes the sponsor for continuous