In this series, Alison Glynn-Baker explores Mandy Holloway's book Inspiring Courageous Leaders. She will be working through a chapter in each blog.
We encourage you to read Inspiring Courageous Leaders if you haven’t already, and contribute to the conversation.
The Courageous Leaders journey began with Mandy’s own experience, over 20 years, as both an emerging leader and an existing leader. Every day, she experienced that tension between the traditional emphasis on the bottom line, and being a humanistic, encouraging leader.
How many leaders feel they have to leave their humanity, and their authentic selves, at the door on a Monday morning, if they want to succeed? How many leaders make decisions based on a fear of rocking the boat? A fear of the repercussions of putting the “soft stuff” (people issues) ahead of the hard-nosed priorities such as financial performance?
The Courageous Leaders model shows emerging and existing leaders how to create a space where you not only identify the true purpose of the business. You also embrace the possibility of being the kind of leader you really want to be. The kind of leader the business needs.
Easier said than done. It's all very well to read about it in a blog or book. What happens when you find yourself, yet again, in a thorny situation? There are two important issues at play here.
The first is being transparent. No smoke and mirrors, no games, no passive aggression or “just going along with it to make everyone happy”. In an environment of transparency you say what you really think, and it is safe to do so.
The second issue that of abundance. Moving away from the idea that time, ideas and even money are in short supply. Moving toward the idea that you can share your opinion freely, trust each other, look after people – and still succeed!
So, yes, this all takes courage. The Courageous Leaders model is about owning who you are, being your best self, having difficult conversations and delivering on your promises. It is also about supporting others to do the same.
This is your chance to have your say. Can courageous leadership really lead to market leadership?