Judy House, the best boss I ever reported to, used to say to me, “Mike, the higher you move in an organization the less freedom you have.”

In any endeavor where you have people looking to you for leadership, they are watching you and waiting to see how you will respond to each situation you face. I work with organizations every day and encourage them to live and work courageously. In these turbulent times, it is critical that there be models in organizations for how to live and work in the culture. Courage is not just about living boldly — it’s about the ability and willingness to take a stand and live that stand in the choices you make.

If the people who work with you were given truth serum and asked to write down the three words that best describe the experience of working with you, what would those three words be? This month’s tips are about how to demonstrate that courage and then hold others accountable for living and working courageously in the culture you call work.

Courageous leadership:

Stays focused on the desirable results and is unwavering in pursuing it.
Removes the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving the result.
Actsdecisively and takes responsibility for the choices that they make.
Avoidsexcuses and the people that make them.
Listens openly and non-judgmentally.

Here are action steps:

  • First, clarify expectations in your mind.
  • Communicate expectations that may be ambiguous.
  • Collaborate in setting specific and measurable performance standards.
  • Follow-up to hold people accountable.

Mike Staver is the author of Leadership Isn’t for Cowards (June 2012, ISBN: 978-1-118-17683-2, $24.95) and will be providing a General Session presentation on this topic on Thursday, Sept. 29 at NETWORK2016 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Go to www.mikestaver.com/author/  for more information on Mr. Staver and to www.asa.net/NETWORK2016 for full program details and registration information.