Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Enemies Are the Consequences of Living Your Personal Values

personal-valuesHave you ever considered how your enemies are the consequences of living your personal values? Winston Churchill recognized the relationship between enemies and personal values when he spoke these words:

“You have enemies? Good! That means you stood for something, sometime in your life.”

How often are we afraid someone may not like us if we stand up for what we believe?

How different would our communities be if we discarded the politically correct speech and actually said the truth and stood by what we said?

Now some might say “Standing up for what you believe might offend someone; this is not how we can get along.”

Thousands of years ago a very wise man by the name of Socrates developed a three way test:

Is what you say kind?

Is what you say truthful?

Is what you say necessary?

Today I might add a fourth test:

Is what you say courageous?

Courage is required to stand up, to live our personal values. We can be kind in speaking the necessary truth. Yet if we don’t have courage to take action, we will fold into a puddle of mush along with our personal values.

When we accept the fact not everyone will like us, that is a small demonstration of courage.  Human beings are social creatures and have this innate desire to be liked. Purposefully creating enemies is contrary to basic human nature.

The founders of America because of their shared personal values toward liberty created an entire country of enemies. They also created enemies in other colonists as less than 10% of the population was actively involved in what we call the American Revolution.

Today America continues to create enemies beyond failed political initiatives.  The liberty and freedom we have is hated by many because we are a country free for the most part to live our lives how we want to lives our lives. Living our lives returns to our personal core values.

Enemies are a natural consequence, a by product of living our personal core values. If we have no enemies, that may suggest our personal core values have not been tested.

This question then remains:

How much courage do you have to accept the fact by living your personal core values you will create enemies?

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

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Challenging the Status Quo Requires the Courage of Your Convictions

When I first conceived of this blog, I wanted it to be different to its target audience and its content.  Many sales coaches, business coaches to organizational development consultants write for the big guns, the Fortune 500 to the firms with hundreds of employees.  For me that was the beginning in challenging the status quo.

challenging-the-status-quoWhat I have learned is when one writes against the status quo or challenges the status quo, there must be a great source of internal courage.  Not everyone will put there thoughts out in the public arena for fear of ruffling fears, upsetting potential clients.

Of course, there are exceptions. Some of my colleagues are those exceptions such as Dan Waldschmidt and S. Anthony Iannarino and I proudly share their courage of their convictions in challenging the status quo.

To have the courage of your convictions you must know what those convictions are as you go forth in challenging the status quo.  Convictions are your core positive values, your business ethics, your morals. These convictions are demonstrated by your behaviors 24/7.

For the past couple of weeks I have been challenging the status quo when it comes to those involved in selling residential real estate.  This challenge surfaced after listing our home as For Sale By Owner on Zillow.  We have received numerous contacts ranging from telephone calls to direct mail to even social media posts from local realtors who want to list or sell or do both.

What is interesting to note is over 9 years ago I wrote an article the 7 Tips to Real Estate Success posted to EzineArticles and what was happening then before the Great Recession is still happening now.  The status quo remain unchanged.

The marketing messages we have received have been on average very poor. Then the professionalism of the majority of real estate agents has been average to poor with only one real estate agent sending us a personal thank you for allowing her to walk through our home. If we decide to hire a realtor, she is number one on the list.

I recently learned that several real estate agents have publicly expressed their anger to others.  From my experience, their anger suggests I have hit probably more than one nerve of truth.  As I posted, numbers do not lie and the majority of real estate agents do not make $100,000 nor even come close to that figure.

Yes challenging the status quo does require the courage of your convictions.  Sometimes it takes someone to say the emperor is naked as long as that person does it with respect, truthfulness and necessity.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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Are You Truly Courageous?

Today life appears to be less hard with all the modern conveniences thanks in part much to technology. We no longer have to be as courageous as those who crossed the wilderness to settle in new lands or do we?\


Credit www.gratisography

For some courage is facing and overcoming barrier after barrier.  Churchill said “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”

In To Kill a Mockingbird, the character of Atticus Finch said “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Possibly Finch’s definition along with Churchill’s provide us with better examples of what is means to be courageous.

For entrepreneurs who get up each day to find new customers, to manage their business operations to balance their personal and professionals lives, they are being courageous.  Then there are those small business owners who reach out for help to improve their results. Asking for help takes courage.

If you are not where you want to be, then maybe it is time to rethink what you are doing. Now is the time to be more truly more courageous; to find the courage within you, to see it through without losing enthusiasm, no matter what.

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Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn

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Courageous By What Criteria?

The word courageous has appeared quite a bit lately from the Christians on the mountain top in the Middle East to the journalist, James Foley,  who was beheaded. This past week in a conversation with a client he shared that another person called him “courageous” for a somewhat public action he took. His comment to me was “Being beheaded is courageous…what I did what I believed I needed to do.”

courageousLast Sunday during our adult Bible study/forum, we talked about if each of us had the moral courage to face death like the early Christian Martyrs.  Most of us would like to believe we have such internal courage, but probably would not know until that moment in time.

Beyond being martyred, what is the criteria for courage?

In my conversation with my colleague, I mentioned that possibly what the other person meant was “Hey dude, you are probably going to lose money and that takes guts.”

So often I observe people not being courageous because they do fear the loss of money or influence.  Instead these individuals would rather continue to quietly affirm the emperor is naked rather than speak out. The loss of the almighty dollar now appears to be a criteria for courage. Is that not sad?

How often do business people stay silent when it comes to politics because they fear alienating their customers?  Translation is the loss of money. Maybe if more business people had the moral courage to stand up during the last 20 plus years we would not be facing the serious problems we are in the United States.

When I was a public school teacher, I was approached by some of the other teachers who had an issue with my forward thinking instructional approach that actually improved grades and student engagement.  When their illogical arguments failed as most illogical arguments due, they told me “Well, we won’t be your friends.”  My reply was “I thought we were all here to educate children first, not make friends.”  When I shared this conversation with my teacher/mentor, I remember her using the word “courage.”

My old Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defined courage as coming from the Latin word, cor, meaning more at heart. Other synonyms for courage include: mettle, spirit, resolution and tenacity along with this final comment “unwillingness to admit defeat.” The word courageous is characterized by someone having courage.

Maybe the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz needed more heart instead of a medal?

As to the question that started this posting, well that can only be answered by each of us in our own way.

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Courage Means Standing Alone

After reading another attempt to revive the educational system here in Northwest Indiana, I realized that courage truly means standing alone especially when everyone else is tip toeing around an issue be it education or business. The reason current education solutions are not sustainable is all are built around agrarian school systems (think farming and summers off).

No one looks good in a bad system despite pouring billions of dollars into the system. Yet no local leader from the newspapers, government officials to the educators want to tackle this problem. They continue to support bad systems and now are part of the problem.

We have a 21st century global economy driven by technology and yet we educate like we are still a farming economy. This is like having a one horse pony cart covered by a fiberglass corvette body.  The end result is one horsepower not eight.

Now some believe courage is sticking your big toe in the puddle with all the other big toes and the puddle holds a limited number of big toes.  That is not courage. That is usually consensus or compromise. Look at Congress to see the all the big toes squirming and splashing in the puddle shouting how courageous they are.

Courage is putting your big toe in the puddle that everyone else is walking a mile to avoid while pointing their fingers at you and  even laughing at you. Possibly they invited you to their shared puddle, but your convictions (think business ethics or personal ethics) would not accept that invitation.

Courage is consistently making the same reasonable statements without fan fare or accolades because you aren’t afraid to call the emperor naked.

Courage is being the respectful contrarian.

Courage is asking those hard questions first of yourself and then of others.

Courage is continuing to work your plan; plan your work even when your results are not where you want them to be and life continues to throw you obstacles after obstacles.

Courage is understanding and working through life is not fair.

Courage is being 100% accountable for your own results and not expecting others to share their wealth from productivity to rewards with you.

Courage is speaking forthrightly even though it may cost you business and relationships.

Courage is being a forward thinking leader without any acknowledgement or support.

Courage is being one of the few and not one of the many.

Courage is thinking of others first without any thoughts to what this or that person can do for you.

Courage is being comfortable with yourself even when others avoid you.

Courage is standing alone; against all odds; because you know it is the right thing.

So the question is do you really have courage because you are willing to stand alone, against all odds or the other big toes?

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