Woah, Nellie.NET!

From my simple mind to… mine…

On “Leadership Courage”

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I walked into a Starbucks the other day, ordered up some coffee, sat down, popped the laptop open and started coding. Taking a moment to unnwind my earphones to put them on, over the hustle and bustle in *$’s, I overheard the term “Leadership Courage” coming from a small group of what apparently were Starbucks managers. The lady who had said it was speaking passionately, so I – with all due respect – started listening in on the conversation. 🙂

The lady spoke of various scenarios, of only one I can remember now. It pretty much sounded as though employees are not supposed to have cell phones if they are working behind the counter (duh) and in this one particular case an employee had one. The manager at the time was afraid to speak up to tell the employee to put the phone away. As the lady recounted the story, her term “Leadership Courage” came up again in the sense that, if the manager was to do her job, she would pretty much have to tell the employee to put the phone away. It did not matter if the employee took it personally, would ruin their long term friendship and whatnot. If the manager worried about these things, then she herself would not be doing her job.

Sometimes it takes “Leadership Courage” to speak up in light of the personal aspects of the job.

I listened on for a while, but it occurred to me that I liked the term… just not in the context that she used the term. In most of the examples that were given, I would say it was more “Managerial Courage,” since the courage was in making sure the coffee was served up quickly to the caffeine addicted masses. I would say “Leadership Courage” would have more appropriately been used to describe a series of actions taken by the manager (or ANY employee) to inspire and provide vision.

It’s often a scary thing to come at things from that angle. I think that if Starbucks managers took a more inspirational approach, they might be ridiculed or lambasted for doing more than they are supposed to do. Who knows? They would br breaking the machine. Yet by having the passion to overcome tough times, the desire to grow, the willingness to provide the vision… and thus act with “Leadership Courage”… who knows what levels a strong leader can take themselves, others, teams, companies, nations… 😉

Do you have “Leadership Courage”? Try providing some leadership to your coworkers and see.

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Written by Nelson

August 15, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Posted in Leadership

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