Will You Become A Better Leader Because Of Courage?

There is this common perception that if you do not have courage, you will not become a really good leader. In the USA, there is this general belief that the best leader is always courageous. This is why so many aspiring leaders try to prove that they have courage. The problem is that things are not actually like that. German Trujillo Manrique highlights that when looking at highly effective leaders, greatness is not necessarily connected with courage.

Defining Courage

Although there are many different definitions listed for courage, one practically says it is a quality of spirit and mind that will enable you to face pain, danger, difficulty and so on without experiencing fear.

This does sound like something that is great for leadership. A person can spend an entire day looking for ways to face pain, danger and difficulty in a specific way so that others think they are suitable for a leadership position.

As an example, a person that is a vegetarian may want to convince people that the best diet out there is a vegetarian one. When converting people that listen, many see this person as a true leader. In the event the person is criticized, the actions are validated and the belief is that more conviction is needed in order to prove leadership qualities. Contrary to what you might think, based on this example, having the courage to fight those that are against vegetarianism does not make you a leader.

The Workplace Environment

At work, so many think they are leaders. However, in reality, they have the exact same behavior as our vegetarian example. The self-proclaimed leaders are often people that they have to be really smart and do not listen if they are criticized. They actually think that they need to overcome all criticism with the use of courage. You might think that this is exaggerated but it is actually reality, one that happens a lot more often than it should.

The true leader is someone that manages to empower people while developing brand new leaders. As that leader is retiring or goes to another company, the business does stay on a good path to success since a new leader was already prepared.

Team greatness has to continue after a leader leaves. If this is not the case, the person was most likely not a leader to start with. Although you are tempted to think differently, these leaders that build other leaders and empower teams are not necessarily courageous.


Yes-Men is a term used in order to describe when someone gives orders and the team just does what is said. This is what happens with most self-proclaimed leaders. They just give orders and people follow. In the event the leader is missing, the team has no idea what to do or there is a highly uncomfortable atmosphere when it comes to making a decision.

A true leader does not have to be there in order for the team to reach its goals. He is so much more than just a manager.