The hallmark and trademark of every successful and great leader is courage! You cannot become anything on earth without being courageous. Those who are pusillanimous and spineless cannot become anything significant. Remember, courage is always expressed in the willingness to go forward, to face danger, to take risks even when success seems not to be guaranteed. Can courage be developed? Yes. It can be developed by consistently exercising and practicing it whenever it is required. To seize 2020, becoming successful, you will need to develop the value of courage. This is non-negotiable.
Once again, courage is essential to success in all activities that call for risk and daring. General Henri, “The most essential qualities of a general will always be: first, a high moral courage, capable of great resolution; second, a physical courage which takes no amount of danger.” Mark Twain also said, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” It is not that courageous people too are not tempted to be afraid like those who are fearful, but over the years, they have come to gain mastery over fear!
2020 is already littered with fear and it is likely going to get worse as we journey en route for the end of this year. Virtually everyone is fearful on earth today. People are afraid of “coronavirus.” As an effect of this, malls are shutting down. Schools are sending their students home. Airlines are closing their offices. Governments are declaring emergencies on the virus. This virus does not discriminate. It attacks both the leaders and led. The whole world has suddenly come under the blanket of fear! But this is the right time and season for the courageous ones to shine and become extremely successful!
A courageous person is someone who has learnt to ignore what makes others terrified. If Darius had held firm a little longer at the “Battle of Gaugamela,” he would have defeated Alexander! Courageous people do hold on for a little longer period of time than when others give up, this is why they are called heroes. Are they tempted to give up as others? Yes! But they do not yield to the same temptation that the cowards yield to.
Taking this crucial issue further, courage is a habit. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that the most important lesson he learned as a young man was the habit of doing things he feared. He was always doing things he feared. Nothing kills fear more than this unavoidable habit! As long as you keep running away from things that you fear, you will never be able to become courageous. This is not debatable at all!
I have listened to virtually every great speaker alive, sharing that each time they want to speak that they are always afraid, but against the tide of fear that is—rising in their stomachs, they would still rise to give and present great speeches and papers! Do I also experience some butterflies strolling in my belly each time I want to stand to speak to great audiences? Yes, but for close to 30years now, I have learnt to subdue and tame it.
Also, courageous people start where others stop. Courageous men can see the end of their pursuit from the start and they are not disturbed by the obstacles standing on their way to success. Once again, 2020 is only for the brave! Fearful men and women will fail to do things that they are supposed to do this year. This will make it easier for the courageous ones to become successful this year.
In any leadership position, courageous people are not afraid to fail; rather, they believe that such failure would further push them to accomplish great tasks. George Washington is being celebrated today, because he did not allow his letdowns stop him. Winston Churchill failed too, but courageously rose above it. When you fail trying to get something done, go back and do it again! If your manuscript is rejected, go ahead and rewrite it. This is what courageous people do. They are not afraid to fail and when they fail, they do not stop trying till they succeed.
Courage is also a principle in leadership and is so important to God, the creator of Heaven and Earth—so much so that—after Moses died that God charged Joshua consistently to remain courageous in order to be able to face the challenges that come with leadership. Leadership does come with challenges and it takes courage to overcome them. To lead when coronavirus is ravaging cities and nations in the field of business, you will need more than mere slogans; you will need to be truly courageous!
To lead in 2020 and beyond, you will need to learn how to look fear in the face and keep going when fear causes others to stop. This is where your voice is in this turbulent year, 2020. This is where your success resides in this day and time. This is where your greatness lives. This is what is going to cause you to shine amidst darkness in today’s world. Courage is what does not make leaders stop where followers stop and pack everything in. The difference between a leader and follower is courage, strong-courage. When followers give up, leaders will always continue to move on against all odds—till success is achieved.
Lastly, in these days and time, challenging times do not exclude anyone, we can all expect them, but what will separate men from boys is courage that is completely alive and kicking. On the condition that you want to be an effective leader, you will need to learn to face them head on. Challenging times are often the corner we turn on the road to success in leadership. Also, fearful-leaders often do hesitate to share their knowledge with others, preventing great and beneficial results. This is one of the banes of leadership in Nigeria and on the whole continent of Africa. Religious and political leaders wanting their followers to forever remain in their shadows! Courageous leaders consistently share knowledge with their followers, empowering them to become leaders! This is why you need to become a courageous leader, so we can together change the face of Africa! Be courageous and rise to seize 2020! Till I come your way again next week Monday, see you where those who are seizing 2020 are found!