Tag Archives: Courage

The Best Leaders Are Great Coaches

Posted on 03. Jan, 2017 by .


screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-6-54-24-amGreat leadership is made up of numerous different elements and roles, which come together differently in different leadership styles. One role that’s often overlooked is that of serving as a coach.

If you’ve ever played or trained under a great coach, you already understand how vast their influence can be.

The best leaders, like the best coaches, give those around them permission to succeed and know how to help them reach their potential.

Here are some of the most important coaching ideas shared by great leaders—ideas that can benefit anyone’s leadership in any field:

Communicate with wisdom. As a coach and leader, you need exceptional communication skills. Your words should make people sit up, listen and feel inspired to act.

Challenge the unchallenged. It’s important to know how to challenge others without making them feel criticized or scorned.

Raise the bar. Set and maintain high personal standards. Keep raising the bar so others can follow suit.

Invest in teamwork. Teach those around you to value great collaboration even more than individual achievement. Demonstrate the truth of TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

Encourage boldness. Encourage others to make mistakes and take bold moves. Nothing great was ever achieved by not being courageous.

Embrace diversity. Understand and take to heart the value of diversity and take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate and attest to its importance.

View people in terms of their potential. Recognize the unrealized potential in those around you. Even more important, help them see it for themselves.

Be available. Whatever your position, build a reputation as someone who’s approachable and quick to help.

Accumulate resources. Develop an extensive network both within and outside your organization. Make it available as a resource for others, not just yourself.

Provide solutions. Learn to seek out and develop win-win solutions and teach those skills to others.

Be an optimist. Cultivate an optimistic outlook that guides you to focus on the possibilities and connections that others might miss.

Create a compelling vision. Have a well-developed personal vision that you can communicate clearly and with inspiration. Present your vision in a way that encourages others to do the same.

Coaches are great leaders because they know how to unlock potential and motivate people to maximize their performance. In short, they help others learn to be their best. And that’s what leadership is all about.

Lead from within: Great leadership isn’t about what you accomplish yourself; it’s about what you inspire others to do.

For coaching, consulting, workshops, and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.
Photo Credit: Getty Images



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Your Leadership Requires You to Have Guts

Posted on 15. Nov, 2016 by .



Leadership is hard. It means making difficult decisions, stepping out of your comfort zone, and standing on the edge of your greatness.

Leadership requires that you have guts.

There are many who have the title of leader. But the only ones who truly deserve the title are those who can weather the storms and stand in their struggles.

Because true leadership requires great men and women to bring all the courage, boldness, toughness, determination and audacity they can summon.
Here are some of the qualities of a gutsy leader. Cultivate them now to become everything you can be:

The COURAGE to change direction when things are on the wrong track. When something isn’t working, you need a leader who has the courage to see the need for change and bring up the benefits of going in another direction. It’s the kind of courage that shows up when you most need to shake things up and get back on the path toward something great. You’ll never do anything worthwhile in this world without courage.

The BOLDNESS to face reality when resources are strained. When money or another vital resource is dwindling, you need to be bold enough not to hide in the spreadsheets but to come out and share the hard truth. You can admit that things are not as they should be, but in a way that is unafraid and focused on solutions, with faith in your team’s ability to rally even at the last minute to turn things around. To be bold is to always be facing forward.

The TOUGHNESS to be more stubborn than your difficulties. When you’re facing obstruction and obstacles, handicaps and complications, you need to be the leader who says “Times are tough but we are tougher.”

The DETERMINATION to pursue new opportunities in the face of opposition. People don’t generally like change, so it’s up to the leader to push past the status quo and make things happen. It’s a job that takes tenacity and spirit. Some leaders succeed because they are destined, but most because they are determined.

 The AUDACITY to say no unapologetically. Some leaders want to say yes to everything—but when they do, they take away their ability to set priorities. Every great advance in leadership came from someone who found the nerve to simply say “no”—as a complete sentence, without any justification or explanation or apology. When you make judicious use of “no,” you set the priorities that allow you to say a bigger “yes” to the most compelling ideas and vision.

 If you’re serious about leadership, always remember that it has to come from deep inside. It takes courage, boldness, toughness, determination and audacity, as the saying goes: no guts, no glory.

Lead From Within: Great leaders aren’t always the ones who win, but those with the most guts.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images



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7 Basic Things Every Great Leader Should Know

Posted on 22. Dec, 2015 by .


Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 7.08.45 AMTo rediscover great leadership, we must return to the basics of leading.

In a recent survey, only 3 percent said they have confidence in corporate executives.

The news was equally dismal for others: 3 percent reported having confidence in government officials, 5 percent in reporters and journalists, 8 percent in small business owners, and only 11 percent in ministers and clergy.

These results show, among other things, how hard it can be to find the leader who can be credible, courageous, trustworthy, ethical, and transparent.

But we all know great leadership is possible —because we ourselves want it.

Here are some basic ways we can be the example of what it looks like.

1. Do what you say you will do. Too many leaders just do whatever they can get away with. Be credible.

2. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. This one can be hard; doing what is right is rarely easy. And many times leaders choose the wrong path. Be courageous

3. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop making excuses for your decisions and rationalizing your choices. The more excuses they hear from you, the less people will trust you. Be trustworthy.

4. Stand by your convictions. Some leaders believe that high standards limit their opportunities. Everyone has their own level, but you cannot be a leader people admire if you don’t have strong convictions. Know what you value and believe.

5. Find clarity in transparency. For some the idea of transparency in leadership may be disruptive, but to be unrestricted and open ensures that those you lead are open and unrestricted with you. Today’s power is gained by sharing knowledge not by hoarding it. Be transparent.

6. Maintain scrupulous honesty. Leaders need to be honest with themselves and others. They need to understand what they can do what they cannot do and consider what they can do better. It is better to be realistic about who you are then have someone call you out on your pretense. Be honest.

7. Value character above perfection. It is often said that character is the cornerstone of leadership, the thing that sets people apart as leaders. Be righteous.

We can always look at others and complain that they don’t have what we want in a leader—but the answer lies not with others but in each one of us.

We can be the answer to the call for leadership.

We can be the example that people want to see.

We can be the leaders that others trust and admire.

Lead from within: When we get back to the basics, we can always begin again to make it right.

Additional Reading:
Tear down the wall so trust can get in
How to become a leader people want to follow

What legacy are you leaving
How to become a leader you admire

For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

Photo Credit: Dustin Lee

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The Truth About Courageous Leadership

Posted on 29. Sep, 2015 by .


Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 9.25.44 AMAs a coach, I spend a lot of time listening to leaders. Many of the things I hear probably wouldn’t be said to anyone else. But behind the scenes it is hard for leaders—it takes a lot of courage to lead, but most of us take it for granted.

Aristotle called courage the first virtue, because it makes all of the other virtues possible. And in my line of work as a coach I believe he is right; if you are courageous it really makes all that you do as a leader have merit.

The courageous leader takes the risks when they:

Go out on a limb. It takes a lot of courage to take initiative and step out, but when it comes to new ideas and new technology, or simply changing direction in an organization, courageous leaders know the future belongs to the risk takers. Weak leaders doubt; courageous leaders are ready to take the risk for action.

Give credit to others. Courageous leaders take a little more than their share of the blame and a little less than their share of the credit. It is amazing what can be accomplished if you do not care who gets the credit.

Have confidence in others. Trusting others with their abilities and their capabilities means empowering them to decide and think for themselves. The confidence of a leader creates self-confidence, which in turn magnifies strengths and skills.

Speak their mind. Courageous leaders speak up when no one else will. They know life is short, business is important, and there’s no time to leave important words unsaid. When it comes to raising difficult issues and unpopular points, courageous leaders have a gift for speaking their mind without offending others.

Provide feedback. Courageous leaders are skillful and courageous communicators who know how to give feedback in a way that’s forthright, helpful, and positive.

Stand up for others. Some organizations have a look-out-for-yourself culture that results in placing blame and throwing others under the bus. Courageous leaders not only refuse to play but also stand by colleagues and employees when no one else will. They are fearless in their pursuit of fairness.

Create a trusting culture. Sound workplace ethics improve an organization’s impact by changing the way people speak to each other and work with each other. Courageous leaders create a fearless culture and encourage people to speak their mind. Empowered people work harder, deal better and are more willing to face and address important issues.

Courageous leaders are seldom acknowledged for their virtues; some of the best leaders are taken for granted. While we’re cultivating our own courage, let’s look around our business, organizations, institutions and workplaces to find courageous leaders and celebrate them for the risks they take every day on our behalf.

The truth is our world needs great leaders now more than ever. We need courageous leaders who will see into the future and set the agenda for others to get there.

You can develop the habit of courage by practicing it. Whenever you have a tendency to hesitate or back off from a challenge, force yourself to go forward with courage. Make it your goal to reach deep down within yourself and act with courage. Those who follow you will be glad you did!

LEAD FROM WITHIN: Courageous leaders make a choice to take action regardless of any fear. They know that courage changes lives—first our own, then others’

Lolly Daskal is the president and Founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership coaching and customized leadership programs. Connect with Lolly Daskal

Additional Reading:

At The Risk Of Being Changed

• The Power Of Parting: 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing 

Lead From Where You Are And With All That You 

The Wisdom Of Whole Hearted Leading

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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The Divided Will Always Be Separated

Posted on 21. Apr, 2015 by .


Screen Shot 2015-04-19 at 6.47.06 AMHe called because everyone on his leadership team said he needed a great coach.

He was head of a large global organization, and the feedback he kept getting is that he was a lousy leader.

I thought to myself, This must be either a brave organization or a desperate one to ask their CEO to seek help. I wouldn’t know which until I spoke to him.

The call was going fine until he said, “Stop asking me questions about myself—let’s do a 360 and figure out what’s wrong, and then you can give me some processes and I will make things right.”

Surprised, I asked him, “What do you mean?”

He said, “Let’s not dive too deeply into who I am as a person. That’s not relevant. What matters here is who I am when I show up at work. And that is all.”

Any leader who thinks that they can divide their personal and professional life is setting themselves up for disillusionment.

Because the honest truth is this: What gets divided gets separated. And the price is high.

Who you are as a person is who you bring to work. The best leaders bring their entire being to work, because they know that who you are says more than any words. There are three essentials to leadership: humility, clarity, and courage—and they require your all

What we try ignore is what we ordinarily highlight. Ignoring something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. In fact, life has a way of highlighting what we try to hide. As someone leading a team or a business, remember that people are looking to you—and noticing the things you choose not to deal with.

When we diverge we are most likely disrupting.  Another strategy for failure is to try to divert a problem to another leader or work group. The only difference between trying to ignore a problem and trying to divert it is that diversion disrupts another work group in addition to your own. If you own it, recognize it and deal with it before it becomes an emergency.

When we don’t deal with conflict it generally comes with a price. When you try to avoid difficult people, strenuous situations, or tough circumstances, you are failing to lead. How many times have you hoped to yourself Maybe if I don’t deal with it, it will go away? And how many times has the situation only grown worse as a result?

When we insist on fooling ourselves we are only deceiving ourselves. If you think you can consistently fool yourself, you’re likely headed for major trouble. Great leadership requires honesty, beginning with yourself. The consequences of long-term deceit are enormous—for you personally and for your organization.

A company, a team, a leader that is divided against itself will never stand.

What’s the difference between a leader and a lousy leader?

A leader works in the open, and a lousy leader is covert.
A leader leads, and a lousy leader doesn’t even drive.
A leader is about integration; the lousy leader is about separation.

We are as strong as we are united, and as weak as we are divided.

Lead From Within: What lies within us is what connects us, not separates us. All we need to do is look, listen, learn, and lead. Our humanity and unity are the things that make us strong.

Lolly Daskal is the president and Founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership coaching and customized leadership programs. Connect with Lolly Daskal

Additional Reading:
 At The Risk Of Being Changed

•  The Power Of Parting: 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing 

•  Lead From Where You Are And With All That You 

•  The Wisdom Of Whole Hearted Leading

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Become The Leader Worth Following

Posted on 29. Jul, 2014 by .


Screen Shot 2014-12-25 at 8.18.02 AM Examples of leaders are everywhere. Many are powerful, many are popular, but few are worthy of being followed.

The ones that extend themselves to keep promises, act ethically, lead by example, show fairness, act out of humility, show confidence, and demonstrate trust.

They are the people we count on. They are the ones we want to follow without being told.

Here are some ways that these true leaders go about their work and lives. Ask yourself which of these things you’re already doing and which you need to work on:

A leader worth following leads with ethics. True leaders are proof you can do well by doing right. Their ethics are not conveniently molded to fit a particular situation but indelibly etched in their very being, as natural impulses that never go stale or out of style.

A leader worth following leads by example. True leaders don’t expect others to do anything they aren’t willing to do themselves. Their leadership comes from their actions, not simply their words. They hold themselves equally responsible as those they are leading.

A leader worth following leads with fairness. True leaders treat everyone fairly.It’s a necessity.They understand that fairness is the ability to rise above their own prejudices and treat everyone equally.

A leader worth following leads with humility. True leaders know that humility is concerned with what is right, that it leads to strength and not to weakness—that it is the equilibrium of power. It is the highest form of self-respect to lead from the stance of humility.

A leader worth following leads brings out the best in others. True leaders guide and support others in their success, ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are meant to do, and doing it with excellence.

A leader worthy of following kindles within others a desire to excel simply by believing in them—bringing out the best in them and building their confidence in return.

A leader worth following leads with trust. True leaders are competent and reliable and consistent, and in return they get people who are loyal and show them great respect. They lead with trust, not power or control.

A leader worth following leads with confidence. True leaders have great confidence and courage. They look fear in the face and defy it, they know that wherever their heart is, there lies their confidence.

Most of all, a leader worth following embraces the concept that leadership is, above all, a privilege and recognizes that the things they think, say, and do have a significant impact on those around them.

Lead From Within: Leadership is a privilege, and making yourself worthy of being followed comes with great responsibility. It means you can inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, be more. Being the leader matters most if the position is taken seriously and is used to make a difference.


Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and customized leadership programs Connect with Lolly Daskal

© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.


Additional Reading:

How Does EGO Edge Greatness Out

Courage Is The Key To Fearless Leadership

Great Leaders Serve With Great Returns

Tear Down The Walls So Trust Can Get In




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Courage Is The Key To Fearless Leadership

Posted on 01. Jul, 2014 by .


Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 5.46.43 PM

Wu Feng was a Manchurian diplomat in the 1700s who was posted with an aboriginal tribe in the outskirts of Taiwan.

He befriended the aboriginal chief, whose tribe beheaded one of its members every year as a form of sacrifice. Each year Wu Feng pleaded, with all his compassion and reverence for life, for the chief to put to an end to this custom. The chief would listen respectfully, then summon the chosen tribe member and without hesitation behead him.

Finally, after living with the tribe for 25 years, Wu Feng once more pleaded with the chief to stop the killing. But this time, when the tribe member was called forth, Wu Feng took his place and said, “If you will kill this time, it will be me.”.

The chief stared long into his old friend’s eyes. He could not kill him. And from that day, the practice of beheading stopped.

There are many kinds of leaders and all kinds of leadership, but the leaders we remember the most—the ones who remain unforgettable—are those who lead with courage.

The courageous speak up when no one else will.

The courageous step up and out when no one cares.

The courageous risk when no one else dares.

There is a stubbornness found in courageous leaders. They are not easily frightened and they allow their courage to rise, especially when they feel intimidated.

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.

Courageous leaders speak their truth. Most people tell us what we want to hear. Courageous leaders speak their mind, never settling for less that what they know to be right. They lead with their integrity and what they know to be true; their honesty lies in telling it to others.

Courageous leaders lead with tenacity. Most people would rather go with the status quo then make waves.At times the truth can be severe and demanding, but courageous leaders stand up for what they believe even if the opinion is unpopular, and encourage others to do the same. Courageous leaders will dare, and dare again, and then dare a little bit more, and go on daring.

Courageous leaders stand apart from the crowd. Most people would rather just be part of the crowd rather than stand alone. Courageous leaders fiercely hunger for what is righteous. They stand apart from the herd and they don’t back down. When a principle is for the good of others, they stand bold and brave.

Being deeply fearless gives us strength, while being deeply courageous gives us character.

Only the real know what is real.

Only the authentic know authenticity.

And only the courageous know courage.

Fear is the panacea for those who lack confidence in their own decisions and their own leadership. It takes courage minus the fear to be who you really are!

Lead From Within: The courageous leader is not one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers that fear. Courage is not the absence of fear but the judgment that something else is more important than fear.

Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a coaching and consultant firm that manages large scale corporate coaching and custom made leadership programs. Connect with Lolly Daskal

© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.

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The Resilient Leader

Posted on 11. Mar, 2014 by .


Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 10.39.27 PMJames Stockdale, best known as a 1992 independent candidate for vice president of the US, was a highly decorated veteran and former prisoner of war.

In 1960 a Stanford philosophy professor, a military veteran himself, gave Stockdale a copy of Enchiridion, a manual for the combat officer written in AD 50 by the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus, saying “I think you might find this useful.”

Through the years Stockton studied Enchiridion and tried to practice the many messages about discipline, self-control, endurance and perseverance, virtue and moral character.

However, Stockdale did not fully appreciate its value until September 9, 1965, when his plane was shot down over Vietnam. […]

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Live and Lead Without Regrets

Posted on 04. Mar, 2014 by .


Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 11.15.55 AMI walked into his office for our coaching session, and I knew something was very wrong. He was often upset over issues with his company, his board, his shareholders—but this was profoundly different.

I could barely understand his words. “I have so many regrets,” he sobbed, “and now it’s too late.”

In the flash of an instant, life has a way of causing us to rethink everything. What if that happened to you, right now? How would you respond? […]

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An Appetite For Leadership

Posted on 25. Feb, 2014 by .


Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 8.29.22 AM
A man was walking through the forest and saw a fox that had lost its legs. He couldn’t help wondering how it was able to survive.

A few minutes later he saw a tiger come by with some game in its mouth.

The tiger sat down to eat his game. Then, when he was full, he left the rest of his game for the fox.

The next day, and the day after, the same thing happened. The tiger brought his catch, had his share, and left the remainder for the fox.

The man began to wonder Why do I need to work so hard? Why not just sit back and trust that everything I need will come to me?  Why don’t I live like the fox and trust that my needs will be taken care of? […]

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