I speak a lot about choice because your life is just that – one big choice. Are you going to play small or play big? Are you going to be shackled by fear or live courageously? Unfortunately, most people choose small and fear. This explains why 90 percent of people in this world are in the middle or below average performance categories at work, and never realize their potential.
From my experience, there are two ways to strengthen your “courage muscle” at work and immediately begin adding value: speak up and bring your heart to work.
- Courageous Act No. 1 – Speak Up. Most of us have been conditioned to remain silent; to believe that our voice does not matter. Stop believing the lie. You are here as an asset, not a liability, and you have important ideas and learnings that can benefit others. However it does no good if your thoughts stay in your head; you must share them. Mark my words when I say that if you are thinking something and not saying it, there are 10 other people in the room thinking the same and choosing the safe route … silence. Why? Because they are afraid and they assume someone else will speak up. If you want to be a leader who is respected, admired, and appreciated by others, tactfully speak up and tell it like it is.
- Courageous Act No. 2 – Lead with Your Heart. Companies are riddled with people running them with their head vs. their heart. The world tells us that bringing your heart or emotions into the workplace is weak and soft, and we listen. The outcome of that lie? It encourages us to go to work every day a shell of who we are. As a leader, you cannot drive human behavior and inspire employees to reach for the stars when your feelings and emotions are absent. It’s impossible. In addition, your customers will never love your company until your employees love it first, and your employees can’t fall in love with your company if they are conditioned to leave their heart at the door. If you want to be a leader who is respected, admired, and appreciated by others, bring your whole self to work – head, heart, and all.
I’ve learned a lot in 28 years in business and sometimes my learnings come from the most unexpected places. Winnie the Pooh had it right when he said, “Always remember you are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think!” Yes, bears talk, and they get angry if we don’t listen.