Do you have to demonstrate managerial courage? Premium

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You have to accept the uncertainty of their environment, defend their beliefs, trust in their teams, act transparently with customers, and more. Decision makers are expected to adopt an array of positions, all of which call for a certain degree of managerial courage. In other words, you as a manager need a genuine ability to step outside your comfort zone, so you can reestablish momentum for action, despite all the pressures are steering you towards caution.

Now more than ever, conflicting demands may be tricking you into inaction. The best career strategies in some companies are to wait and see, avoid making waves and just stick to what it says in your job description. Making decisions and taking action in this context often requires an element of managerial boldness, if not downright courage: it takes bravery to state your convictions, mobilize your teams, and play the open-to-the-environment card. Paradoxically, a 2013 study conducted in Europe by the Korn Ferry Institute revealed that managerial courage is one of the most crucial skills in business today; unfortunately, it is also an area of expertise often lacking in executives.

The courage to take action
If deadening inertia in your company is a problem, then decision-making, action and movement are impossible without a modicum of boldness on an ongoing basis on your part. Boldness means you first have to have the courage of your convictions and question the established order.

Accept the complexity of your environment

Managers are constantly faced with “what they don’t know they don’t know,” but endless uncertainty is not a license to do nothing. On the contrary, as we cannot predict the future, managers need to develop their ability to adapt to it. Experimenting, taking a step back, and trial-and-error are just some of the approaches that require managerial courage. Being courageous does not mean being oblivious to the risks. Courage involves seeing the danger, being tempted to draw back, and then instead making the conscious decision to face it. The main engine of decision-making in uncertain environments is this ability to put yourself in danger while managing the risks, making it a key leadership asset.

Reject the status quo
“I’ve got great ideas but no one listens to them. All this paperwork is driving me mad. My boss doesn’t understand what I do. I’ll never get a promotion if I complain…” These obstacles to initiative leave some managers in a permanent position of wait-and-see. And yet, at the same time, human beings are not programmed to wait but rather to challenge the rules…Read more

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Do you have to demonstrate managerial courage?

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Based on Oser: le guide pratique by Jocelyn Pinet and Olivier Bouleau (Sgräff, August 2014); and L’audace, mode
d’emploi: Comment adapter votre niveau d’audace à chaque situation
by Didier Durandy (Eyrolles, September 2015).