The Foundational Virtue

The courage to fail is one of the most powerful traits of a fearless leader.

Because behind the courage to fail lies moral courage. The courage to do the right thing, in the face of adversity, peer pressure, social norms, even persecution or threats.

When a leader cares more about doing the right thing than looking good or climbing the corporate ladder, he gains the courage to actually take bold action in the service of "the right thing."

In other words, he gains the courage to fail (while daring greatly).

And the paradox is that without risking this kind of failure, a leader can't ever become either fearless or great.

This is why the courage to fail in order to succeed is the most ubiquitous success secret of any fearless leader, and it’s also one of the characteristics that separate high performers from everyone else.

Passion Fuels the Fearless Leaders Courage

There are at least two ways in which passion fuels a leader's courage to fail:

  1. Passion increases a leader's willingness to move beyond her comfort zone
  2. Passion actively feeds courage.

When you are passionate, the fire of that passion keeps you "leaning in" beyond your conform zone.

And it also keeps you focused on what you're trying to achieve (instead of focused on risk), while also giving you a stronger "why" for acting in the face of risks.

The good news is that this type of courage can be learned and strengthened, AND the Fearless Leaders Group has tools and exercises for doing exactly that.

Failure As Necessary Waypoint on Path to Success

Fearless leaders don’t like to fail; some even say they hate to fail, but they learn to accept failure as an inevitable part of, and requirement for, success.

Because failure develops the "grit" and perseverance so necessary for real success. To illustrate this, let's consider ex-pro football player, six-time all-pro NFL linebacker and a former team captain for the Denver Broncos, Karl Mecklenburg.  

"In the NFL," Mecklenburg says, "you see gifted guys who were drafted in the first or second round, but the first time they have ever failed [was] on their first day at an NFL training camp when some veteran mops the floor with them. They don’t know how to react; they feel defeated," he says.

"On the other hand," Mecklenburg adds, "if you have someone who has been thwarted and challenged, and has pushed himself over and over again, up to that line where they are going to fail, but have the courage to continue, that is someone who can handle failure. They’re the football players who make it in the pros."

Experiencing and then overcoming failure develops grit: the ability to respond with resilience to setbacks, challenges, and failures.

The Fearless Leaders Group Coaching Process

The Fearless Leaders Group Coaching Model will help you understand this practically counterintuitive axiom. It will give you the tools to practice it, and it will help you help others become fearless leaders themselves.

What Kind of Courageous Are You?

Different types of leaders tend to show different types of courage, especially courage in the face of defeat or failure.

So knowing what kind of leader you are can be a great start to developing your own courage to fail.

That's why we developed our free, interactive What Kind of Fearless Leader Are You? Quiz.

And during our book launch, we're gifting visitors who completes our quiz with a kindle version of the Fearless Leaders™: Sharpen Your Focus book, by Greenberg and North.

So take the quiz and get started on your journey to fearless.

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