Organisational Courage

The VIA strengths of courage are bravery, perseverance, honesty and zest; practising these strengths have resulted in the following organisational benefits:

  • Improved accountability and responsibility
  • More effective working relationships
  • Increased self-efficacy and self-confidence
  • Broadened perception of what is possible and improved resourcefulness
  • Increased goal achievement
  • Increased ability to learn from mistakes
  • Increased positive energy, positive mood, empathy and conscientiousness
  • Increased prosocial orientation
  • Inspired others to act courageously

Adapted from the works of Haidt (2002); Herman (1971); Hitz & Driscol (1989),
Huhnke (1984); McQuaid& Lawn (2014); Peterson & Seligman (2004); Ryan & Deci (2000); Shepela, Cook, Horlitz, Leal, Luciano & Lufty (1997)

How do you build courage in your organisation?  A few ideas for your consideration that can be easily implemented include:

  • Embrace the “F” word … that is “failure.”  Normalise and forgive mistakes.  Rather than blame, learn.
  • Rather than compare and compete, collaborate.
  • Cultivate an unexpected workplace relationship.  Broker a new interaction every week.  Be sure to have a clear moral, worthwhile goal to do so.
  • Use mindfulness to harness your courage.
  • Speak up skilfully: one-to-one, in a meeting, to a large audience.
  • Support courage acts through coaching others.  Be courageous and coach.

I’m keenly exploring courage and leadership in organisations and have two questions for your consideration:

  • What are the (day-to-day) organisational issues that you would want leaders to demonstrate courage in addressing?
  • What would you like your leaders to do/achieve through demonstrating courage?

Let us know what you think.


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