This past weekend, Wimbledon’s Gentleman’s Finals were held with the victor being Andy Murray.

We wanted to highlight Mr. Murray as he is a great fit for our discussions around courageous leadership. Here’s a summary of where we feel he applies courage:

  • He’s passionate about what he does
  • He lives his dreams
  • He has clear goals and persists at attaining them
  • He understands his strengths (and those of others)
  • He believes in self development and actively engages a coach
  • He remains controlled
  • He succeeds and learns from failure

The pressure was on to win Wimbledon and make Britain proud; he certainly did not let his fans down! He became the first British man in 77 years to win Wimbledon.

Did this take courage? You bet! In 2012 he was runner-up at Wimbledon, and although this is a major accomplishment, it was not fulfilling his dream. He was gracious in his loss, and seemed more determined than ever to achieve his goal.

Working with his coach, Ivan Lendl, he practiced every day to minimize his weaknesses while making his strengths even stronger. He had a goal and he had a purpose!

The very essence of leadership is its purpose. And the purpose of leadership is to accomplish a task. That is what leadership does-and what it does is more important than what it is or how it works.
–Colonel Dandridge M. Malone

While most of our careers don’t require that we address physical challenges, there’s a need to have a purpose along with a need to address soft skill challenges.

Common Leadership Challenges

  • Conducting difficult conversations
  • Delivering and responding to feedback
  • Addressing and managing conflict
  • Discerning and working on true priorities
  • Saying “no”

Believe it or not, practice helps! Think of some situations that make you uncomfortable, or that you postpone addressing for as long as possible.

Next, give serious thought as to “why.”

Now it’s time to practice ideal responses. This can be through role playing with a trusted friend or business peer, or by talking to a mirror. (Role playing has the advantage of obtaining feedback.)

Think of real life examples, plan your ideal response, then practice delivering that response.

Expect that this will initially feel awkward and unnatural. Your comfort level will grow when your responses sound more like you and less “canned.”

Do you have the courage to define your purpose and address your challenges?

12 Components That Require Courage

  1. Have and live your dream.
  2. Document your goals.
  3. Commit to your goals.
  4. Understand your strengths and the strengths of others.
  5. Communicate.
  6. Address conflict.
  7. Develop others.
  8. Delegate.
  9. Develop a skill.
  10. Remain controlled.
  11. Give rewards.
  12. Succeed and learn from failure.

Read more about 12 Steps For Courageous Leadership.