you have set your imagination free and
captured a vision of that direction
where your organizational endeavors
will create the most fruitful future,
a vision that has filled you with
passion. Then you have articulated the
way in which you would go in a
carefully crafted mission statement.
Now comes the first of many tests!
Have you the courage to turn your
vision into concrete action, to
transform your passion into the
specific means to accomplish your
mission? Sure, there are other
considerations. Does your team possess
the skills to be successful? Can your
organization develop the necessary
financial resources? Will your
stakeholders support your mission?
These are all worthy questions and
each one must be answered honestly.
Still, unless you have the courage of
your convictions, the raw fortitude to
stand up for your own vision, these
other important concerns will not
matter. Inevitably, your vision, your
sense of purpose, even your leadership
will be challenged. Do you have the
courage to lead?
wise person once advocated, “Either
lead, follow, or get out of the
way!” No organization can succeed
without both leaders and followers.
While one might argue that a leader is
more important than a follower, simply
because there are more good followers
than good leaders, no endeavor will
succeed without committed followers.
Therefore, the argument is empty and
the point null! Leaders and followers
are equally vital to your
organizational viability. Yet you are
you must assume responsibility for
mission direction. You are the one to
whom others will look for guidance and
support. You will be the target of
every stakeholder’s questions and
every Board member’s doubts. You
might be absolutely right in your
professional assessments of where your
organization should go. You might have
properly evaluated the strengths and
weaknesses of your team, your
resources, and your chances of
success. But have you the courage to
meet every challenge, to respond to
every honest critique in an edifying
manner, to motivate every doubter, to
continue when your own self-doubts
began to take hold? Many a wonderful
vision has become nothing but a
distant memory in the seer’s mind,
because courage was found lacking.
that having courage doesn’t mean you
will never experience fear and doubt.
Mark Twain once wrote that courage is
resistance to fear, mastery of fear -
not absence of fear. What might a
leader do if one’s self-inventory
uncovers a fundamental lack of
courage? Is courage such an innate
trait that it cannot be acquired if it
is found deficient? I think not! If
you lack sufficient courage, you must
seek encouragement - something
or someone that can inspire, hearten,
fill you with hope. It may come
eventually from your faith, a mentor,
or another person who supports your
vision. Seek it! For your vision to
become a concrete reality demands that
you have the courage to make it happen.