People respond to courage. It’s a characteristic of many people who take charge (“fearless leader,” anyone?) and it’s something you should develop in order to become the leader and influencer that you want to be in your field. But how do you develop the kind of courage it takes to become and influencer?
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Mistakes happen. It’s only when you don’t use them as a learning experience that they are a complete failure. Having the courage to be able to make a mistake and admit it is a big deal. Many people never take on leadership roles because they are terrified of making a mistake.
Don’t be afraid to challenge status quo. If no one bucks the norm, then there would be no progress. Have the guts to go a different direction from everyone else and try something new. Nothing may come of it, but then again, you might just become a revolutionary in your field when you defy the standard.
Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. Schoolyard bullies don’t go away in the corporate world. They just wear power suits instead of jeans and a t-shirt. Don’t let yourself get pushed around by domineering colleagues. Just like it takes courage to stand up to a bully in 6th grade, it takes the same amount of bravery to stand up for yourself in a company meeting.
Don’t be afraid to take the road less travelled. Along the lines of doing something different, don’t be scared to travel off the beaten path to find solutions to your problems. Oftentimes, it’s where you’ll find the brilliant answer to your issue.
When you find the courage to stand up for yourself, challenge the norms, look off the beaten path for solutions and stop worrying about making mistakes, then you’ll find yourself squarely in a position of leadership and influence in your career.
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