First, a disclaimer. This is one person’s point of view. It is not the result of a study that surveyed 10,000 business owners. Instead, it is the product of my personal, anecdotal experience. I’ve spoken to and with thousands of business executives in the US and other countries, and personally and contractually worked with over 459 of them. I have, I believe, achieved a breadth of experience in the world of business that, coupled with a touch of wisdom, has a validity of its own.
With that disclaimer behind us, let’s tackle the subject. Previously, I argued for these character traits:
• An unquenchable work ethic,
• an ability and propensity to learn,
• a continuous quest for MORE,
• unwavering self-control
• a pervasive sense of humility.
To that list, I’m adding the seventh and final: Courage.
I don’t mean to imply that this is the full portrait of a successful business leader. There are dozens of other attributes that will enhance his/her’s ability to work with others and be successful. But, these seven traits mark the essence of a business leader’s character: Without a significant dose of each, his/her career will be somewhat stunted and fall short of the heights to which it could reach.
The Oxford Dictionary defines courage as the ability to do something that frightens one. Wikipedia adds this:
Courage (also called braveryvelour) is the choice and willingness to confront agony, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation. Physical courage is courage in the face of physical pain, hardship, death or threat of death, while moral courage is the ability to act rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, discouragement, or personal loss.
While few business leaders face threats that call for physical courage, they need moral courage to accomplish anything of substance.