I was reviewing a curriculum on courage for a friend, and while reading, a question began to form in my mind. Why do we need to teach courage in the first place? The great Japanese swordsman Musashi Miyamoto is claimed to have said, If you are trying to figure out how to counter your opponents first move, you have already lost. In other words, if we need to teach people how to be courageous in the workplace (and we do!), we have already failed. We are trying to fight bad leadership in our organizations with courage. To win, we must defeat bad leadership, not the results of it.
Courage is a grassroots solution to an ugly problem. The problem is poor leadership in the C-suite. If an organization is led by competent leaders, we wouldn’t need courage in the workplace. At least not in the way we’re talking about it.
So how do we go about this? I believe the problem stems from poorly designed executive compensation packages and a lack of leadership in corporate boards. If we seriously want to make our work places better places to work, we need to start at the top… not the bottom.
All the best!
All the time!