In this time of liminality, the path ahead is difficult to navigate. The path is either completely foreign to us or is yet to have light shed upon it. Because of this, it is quite natural and seemingly safer to wait to take another step until more is revealed and known. At least that’s how some leaders react in these uncertain times.
But the courageous leader is energized by the opportunity of these times. The courageous leader is not afraid of the unknown. In fact, the courageous leader knows we must boldly step forward in faith having done her/his homework and acting with the best of intentions. The courageous leader has no fear of failure for s/he knows failure is one of our best teachers. Failing is not inherently a bad thing. Eloise Ristad reminds us, “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” Courageous leaders are willing to risk, experiment, and innovate rather than play it safe and be paralyzed by the unknown and by fear. Without risk, there will be nothing new discovered.
Courageous leaders don’t avoid difficult conversations and decisions. Here is an excerpt from my book published April 2021, Being the Church in the Post Pandemic World,
“Avoiding difficult conversations and even avoiding difficult decisions has crushed and continues to crush so many churches. It is heartbreaking. Avoidance is truly taking the path of least resistance, instead of being a courageous leader. To think that a single conversation or a small series of conversations could be the difference between a church thriving and wasting away is heartbreaking. Too many churches are unintentionally making the decisions for their churches not to thrive by avoiding difficult conversations and decisions. Most avoid them for relationally-driven reasons, without consideration for the missionally-driven reasons that might motivate them to actually have the difficult conversations and make the difficult decisions.”
Courageous leaders are passionate about their work and are therefore willing to be bold and take action that s/he otherwise may not. Courageous leaders are vulnerable for in their own vulnerability s/he more readily sees this same trait in others causing them to be more compassionate. Courageous leaders work with integrity holding others accountable and welcome being held accountable, too. Courageous leaders are authentic – not hiding their rough spots but instead using the lessons from those rough spots to better identify with others who also have rough spots.
This is a call for courageous leaders! There has never been more need for courageous leaders to step forward than right now – today! What bold and courageous step is God calling you to take?