Audacious – Undaunted – Heroic – Extraordinary – Daring…. Leadership: we admire it by any of these descriptors because of the element of risks taken and surmounted.

Fear conquered, risks rewarded, courage prevailed. We not only admire it but aspire to it – in order to set ourselves apart as leaders beyond the easy and comfortable.

How can you go beyond the ordinary to make a difference, to create a significant contribution, to be a thought leader? How then can you as a leader earn the title of courageous leader?

Here are 5 ways you can advance courageously.

  1. Give your team extraordinary line of site.
  2. Take a back seat.
  3. Seek to make the world a better place.
  4. Think fast and frequent.
  5. Change it up.


  1. Give your team extraordinary line of site. Be bold, go big. Put your team members in meetings with senior leadership, initiate conversations between your team members and C-level executives, and create an interactive channel of innovative ideas from your team members directly to senior leaders. Pay less attention to the hierarchy and more attention to cutting through bureaucracy and red tape in order to uncover innovations.


  1. Take a back seat. Advocate for your team members everywhere. Develop each and every member of your team to capabilities beyond your own. Seek out unusual and valuable learning experiences – have your team spend a day/week alongside customers to learn deeply their every day experiences. Expose team members to industry trends, thought leaders and “unicorn” ideas. Learn and practice design thinking. Explore, probe, examine, scrutinize.


  1. Seek to make the world a better place. Make your team’s work more than a product or service with bottom line expectations. How can what it is your team does make an impact for the ‘greater good’? What does your team want to contribute to the community, to solving society’s biggest problems? Make a real difference for more people.


  1. Think fast and frequent. Adopt speedy communication processes vs. long, repetitious meetings. Talk, converse, communicate, huddle and dialogue with a purpose, an end-in-mind. Resist complacency and routine.


  1. Change it up. Audit regularly. What’s working extremely well? What could be improved? What has changed most recently that requires our response? Why are we doing it this way and not that way? What trends can we anticipate and get in front of? Stay connected to the outside world.


There is risk in trying new things. It is not crowded on the leading edge. But if your leadership reaches farther for bigger things, courage will be rewarded with important breakthroughs!