I watched the movie Courageous yesterday, and it really brought to light the importance of the attribute of courgage for a servant leader. When a leader combines courage with the behaviors of love that I have highlighted in earlier blogs, it is a powerful package of servant leadership.

Courage can be exhibited in three general ways:

  • TRY Courage: This is the courage of initiative and action, being innovative, being willing to take risk for a better future, and stepping up to the plate.
  • TRUST Courage: This is the courage of confidence in others, and the ability to let go of the need to control situations or outcomes as well as having faith in people and being open to direction and change.
  • TELL Courage: This is the courage of voice, raising difficult issues, providing tough feedback and being honest in all situations.

Servant leaders use courage to break from the norm, to challenge the status quo, to seek new opportunities, to make the tough decisions, to listen rather than speak, to admit their faults, to forgive the faults of others, to not allow failure to dampen their spirit, to stand for those not capable of standing for themselves, and to remain true to their core values. None of these things can be done without courage. Courage is having the strength of conviction to do the right thing when it might be far easier to go a different path.

A few of my favorite examples of servant leaders are Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King Jr. Each of these individuals exhibited incredible courage as they lived their purpose to make a significant impact on the world. It takes real courage to always look out for the greater good of others as opposed to oneself. But when you have the courage to stay commited to a compelling purpose of serving others within your sphere of influence, you too can make a significant impact on the world!

Have a courageous week!

Mark Deterding