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(Featured on Forbes March 21, 2014. Originally contributed to St George Health and Wellness Magazine Jan/Feb 2014 edition)

Do you consider yourself to be brave? Rather than being devoid of fear, bravery is actually an act of courage. One who recognizes fear, perhaps even experiences fear, who then faces that fear courageously is most accurately associated with bravery.

I admire brave leaders. In troubled times they courageously choose to lead. Most often brave leaders arise victorious because of their ability to take action as opposed to being stifled by fear. I have discovered 14 common traits among brave leaders.


You Might be a Brave Leader if you:

1. Listen.

2. Inspire greatness.

3. Reward loyalty earnestly.

4. Maintain acquaintance with optimism.

5. Accept accountability for your mistakes.

6. Provide recognition rather than seek it.

7. View feedback as informational rather than confrontational.

8. Establish one’s integrity as the antecedent to fulfillment.

9. Earnestly motivate your team members to accomplish noteworthy tasks.

10. Promote from within creating a culture of spontaneity and accomplishment.

11. Foster creativity in the workplace by rewarding those who attempt creativity.

12. Stimulate in others the belief that they too can accomplish the extraordinary.

13. Believe that character can be learned and mastered through small and simple means.

14. Conquer self; not to the point of perfection, rather to the point of compassion.


Brave Leaders are Cultivated

Brave leadership has very little to do with status, position, title, or income. It is larger than any of those. Brave leaders are cultivated. They are found all around. They are not obscure, just unrecognized. You may find them in odd or mundane places. Brave leaders are not hiding, just getting things done. Too often, leadership searches select individuals with high bottom-line numbers. Indeed leaders largely impact the bottom line but do so indirectly. Leaders impact those who impact the bottom line. Therein is the difference. When provided true leadership, employees gain confidence in themselves and their fellow workers. They believe that they can accomplish the extraordinary. And typically they do.

Promote Bravery from Within

Establish competitive job opportunities and promote from within your company. Leaders must clearly see the way to advanced opportunity. Nothing stifles creativity like someone taking credit for something someone else did. Search for brave leaders who give recognition for a job well done to those who actually got their hands dirty. Promote those leaders who get results through serving and building their team members. This ability has lasting impact and will sustain a thriving culture which is core to your success. Hold brave leaders accountable for people results and the number results will follow.


Believing that “Beyond mediocrity dreams are found,” Jeffrey T. Sherman, Principal of ShermanSpeaks LLC is a public speaker and consultant utilizing a relationship-building blueprint to drive fledging companies and individuals to the next level: Defining 2.0™.

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