Recharge 2019: Courage at the C-Suite

Posted December 3, 2019 in Alumni Exchange, Latest News & Insights

By Jennifer Hanna, Learning Manager

Panellist: Sam Sebastian, Sarah Robson, Gill Dennis, Beth Tyndall

During the next stop along our Recharge journey of becoming courageous, we had the pleasure of listening to a panel of insightful C-suite leaders.  The panellists were asked to share their thoughts and experiences about growing a culture of courage in the workplace.  Each leader embraced the challenge by openly sharing their real-life experiences.   There was no pretence, polished answers or preachy speeches – it was full, out, honesty.  Having such seasoned leaders share their personal obstacles and successes around what it means to be courageous, provided us with a real blueprint for taking action ourselves.  As each leader identified what matters most about being courageous, the unifying themes came to life.


To become a courageous leader and grow courage in others, we need to….

  1. LIVE YOUR VALUES. The first step in being courageous is knowing your values and living by them. To be courageous means to be comfortable with yourself, what you stand for, and what you truly believe.  Courage is born from having the integrity to make the hard choices that align with who you really are, not doing what is easiest.
  2. MAKE CHANGES, ONE CONVERSATION AT A TIME. As leaders, we are responsible for moving the needle on culture, and without a doubt, this requires courage.  Sometimes we wrongly assume that one grand act of courage will solve the challenges at hand.  Instead, the panellists asked us to understand that change happens one courageous conversation at a time.  Day after day we all need to engage in conversations that encourage authenticity and integrity in each of our relationships.
  3. CREATE AND PROTECT PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY. If we want to grow courage in our workplace, we need to give it a place to root.  When people feel there is space to make mistakes and they trust that others will support them, they begin to take risks.  Taking risks and trying new things moves individuals and organizations towards cultures of creativity and innovation. When we make others feel safe to stumble, learn and grow, we create the perfect conditions for acts of courage.
  4. MODEL IT. We are all familiar with the phrase “Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.” The C-suite panellists stressed how important it is for leaders, like us, to model courageousness. If we want others to demonstrate vulnerability and take more risks, we better be willing to do it ourselves. We can start with telling others about our own mistakes, apologizing when we make them – and meaning it!  When others see us bravely model these behaviours it inspires them to tap into a courageous space of their own.

Click here for more Recharge 2019 blog posts. 

And if you’re interested in saving a seat for Recharge 2020, you can get your tickets here

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