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Courage: Nobody Hired You to be Passive

Your choice is The Active Path or The Passive Path

You just got this job. You’re in unfamiliar territory and do not know who or where to go for advice. Of course you could go to the hiring manager. But you're not sure if your question warrants you breaking into their day. You don’t want them to think you are already going to be a problem child - one of those people who needs their hand held before you make any moves forward. So what do you do?

It’s a situation everyone finds themselves in when they start a new job. If you are starting an internship, or starting a new career, you could face this situation. At this crucial moment, your character is being tested. Many times when you feel uncomfortable, you are facing a character test. Your choice at this moment can set you on one of two paths with your new boss and coworkers: the passive path or the active path. What path do you want to be on?

Someone on the passive path waits.They hesitate to ask questions, and they hesitate to take action.They wonder “should I do anything or should I wait to be told what to do?” The passive path may not have any bumps or potholes to navigate - but it is truly the road to nowhere.

Someone who chooses the active path takes action. We define Courage as “acting despite perceived or actual risk.” Choosing the active path requires someone to say “well they hired me to do something, so I better get started.” Or, “Asking a question now is better than waiting until someone else decides to fill me in.”

When you take action and overcome the perceived or actual risks of that action, you may hit a bump or a pothole, but you are still making progress. When you find someone who knows what you need to do and you ask for guidance, you may even get a map that will help you avoid some of those bumps and potholes they’ve already hit.

If you are new to a role, one of the best ways to exercise Courage is to be curious. The more you explore and ask questions, the earlier you will reach the level of independence you want, and your employer will reward your independence.Trust me, after 20 years leading teams in the corporate world and 10 years advising leaders across the country, I will guarantee you one thing: Nobody hired you to be passive.

Courage: Acting despite perceived or actual risk.

The Courage you display early in your time in a new job will determine how soon you reach your potential or whether you will reach it at all. The active path requires you to overcome your discomfort and take another step to becoming the Leader of Character that you were designed to be.

Dig Deep Questions:

  • What do your first steps on the Active Path need to be?

  • Who can you ask for guidance so you have a better road map for the Active Path?


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

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