Be Bold Now

Guest Blogger, Ken Byler, Principal/Owner, Higher Ground Consulting Group, LLC

“The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: Could have, might have, and should have.”

This quote by Louis E. Boone is indicative of a common leadership dilemma, a lack of boldness to pursue an organization or team vision. Instead of announcing our intentions and boldly pursuing them, leaders tend to procrastinate or offer an array of excuses for our poor performance. Individuals struggle here too.

Perhaps this is because we have experienced disappointment when some previous initiative fell short of expectations. Or we may have a problem holding ourselves and others accountable.

Why Boldness Matters

Boldness is a key contributor when crafting a vision. It engages others by inviting them to imagine a yet unfulfilled future where their actions have made a difference.

Sometimes the vision seems so audacious that we wonder if it is even possible. When a leader boldly proclaims where the organization or team needs to go, he or she must trust their own capabilities and have faith in the ability of others.

What Bold Leaders Do

Boldness has many components but often includes the following:

  • A sense of adventure and excitement,
  • A willingness to take risks,
  • The ability to be quite comfortable with the unknown.
  • A readiness to speak out and put their own credibility on the line
  • Don’t waste time over-analyzing.
  • Get excited about the possibility of moving beyond what is known.

Obstacles to Acting Boldly

The obstacles to boldness are many.

  • Some leaders have a fear of being embarrassed or looking crazy to their peers or shareholders.
  • Others prefer the stability and comfort of their current situation.
  • If you need to gauge how much support you might have, or you like to thoroughly process every decision, it is likely you will struggle to be bold.

Next Steps

Leaders can’t assign boldness to a committee or task force. They must demonstrate by their words and deeds a level of commitment to the vision. By stretching the boundaries and challenging others to rise to the occasion, bold leaders can create an environment where vision is embraced as a possibility.

Bold ideas are needed for great accomplishments to be realized.

Who are the bold leaders in our political, business, and religious arenas today? Who is putting their credibility on the line for some future bold initiative? Where do you fall on the boldness continua? Are you cautious or adventurous? Do you hold back or speak out?

What are the “could have, might have, or should have” goals and initiatives languishing in your organization? How many of them have never been realized because your leadership lacks boldness?

There is no need to settle for regrets when boldness can help you achieve success. Today’s uncertain environment is a great place to begin.

Photo Credit: istockphoto.com

Filed in: Client News