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Courage – You have to DO what you want to BE

Courage Defined: Acting despite perceived or actual risk.

It’s frustrating when people have allowed me to make poor decisions without speaking up. I have made decisions and moved strategies forward only to find out later I was operating off of misguided assumptions or partial information. This has happened at work and at home.

At work, I rolled out an entire strategic plan for our sales team requiring each person to be in front of certain customers on a weekly basis. During that team meeting, I was passionate about my idea and pushed the team to implement my plan. It wasn’t until two weeks later that I discovered few people could actually get in to see their targets at that frequency. We wasted an entire meeting and additional two weeks on the strategy. It wasn’t until later that I heard from people that they had doubts from the beginning. The same thing has happened with my kids as well. Each time it happened - at work or at home - I was not happy!

“Why didn’t anybody say anything?” In both cases, my frustration with good people damaged our relationships and in turn their desire to follow me in the future.

When I do keynotes or lead seminars I always start with the same question: “Would you follow you?” Maybe I should have looked in the mirror at my own choices.

What I have realized through the years is I am guilty of staying silent as well. At work and at home, I have allowed others to make mistakes without speaking up. I have said nothing early on and then finally chimed in with my opinion when it was too late to change the outcome. Why? Usually it was a comfort thing. I was uncomfortable at the moment, so I stayed silent.