Fear Is Real – But Not Undefeated
Courage is the fulcrum of a leader’s character.
Our character hinges on Courage. My dad, The General, always said, “Hey bud, if doing the right thing were easy, everyone would be doing it.” Speaking up, even though there could be a personal or professional cost for doing so, isn’t easy. It requires Courage. Most people know what they should do. But when they weigh the cost, they choose to not say or do what they know they should.
That is how certain colleges have gotten in trouble for the sexual abuses of their athletes. That is how companies become exposed after numerous years of misleading financial reports. This is why children rebel against parents who preach the value of honesty to their kids, yet this same parent will lie as they see fit.
It takes Courage to do what we are supposed to do. Is fear real? Yes. Fear is real, natural and necessary. Most people, outside of sociopaths, will admit to feeling fear. Combat veterans, law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel live and operate in the very real face of fear.
Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is taking action despite that fear. The people who exercise Courage in the big moments – like those men and women in combat or patrolling our streets – weren’t born with a “Courage gene.” There isn’t a magic formula for becoming courageous. Yet, these men and women have practiced facing their fears—and it shows.
After all, nobody builds Courage by running away from a difficult situation. Instead, Courage is forged each time we turn and face our fears. Why? Because each time we make a choice, it makes it easier to make the same choice again. People who regularly exercise Courage are in the habit of facing their fears – in both large and small tests.