It's the river, according to Gus Lee, that the good person refuses to cross. And that's unfortunate, because on the opposite bank lies the land of the courageous.
Again, understanding the premise of why good isn't all a leader needs is found in Lee's definition of "courageous."
In his book, "Courage," Gus defines a courageous leader as the person who boldly stands for principles and for all others. He supports values, and doing so he does not play favorites.
The most important core values of the courageous leader, then, are these:
- Integrity--This leader discerns right from wrong, acts for the right despite the risks, and teaches others from that act.
- Courage--First, this leader stops wrong in himself. Then, he challenges wrongs in others and always follows through.
- Character--This leader sustains integrity and courage, always in an effort to maximize integrity.
Here's the rub: adhering to these core values requires a leader to confront. It's not enough to recognize when someone isn't measuring up. You must confront the behavior that is wrong--in every case.
I don't care who you are, that is scary. I'm trying to discern why that's so in my case. After all, if the behavior is wrong, why would confronting that behavior be difficult?
You would have to be confident, and by that I don't mean arrogant. For me, this confidence should come from an uncompromising belief in the values you live and espouse, plus an absolute conviction that confronting people who deviate from these values is protecting your team as well as improving the people you confront.
You would have to overcome the lack of confidence that comes from uncertainty, over-sensitivity to others, and your own complacency towards the values that will make your team successful.
I wonder if any of this is close to Lee's advice in the rest of his book? I'd better finish it and find out.
Thanks for working through this with me. I want to be that courageous leader.