What does it mean to lead with courage? (2022)
Lead with courage is easier said than done. One can really know it when you face a situation which requires to take risk and act with courage facing threat to life.
Sharing real life example which happened with me when I came to know what does really lead by courage means.
I had read about leadership concepts and theories in management books but had first-hand experience of it in my first job.
I was working in a boiler house and there was a complaint of temperature sensor malfunctioning
Temperature sensor was on top of the boiler which is good 80 feet height with high temperature environment and not an easy place to work.
Black Dust storm was blowing and it was getting darker in the evening.
I went along with Lal Singh, technician in my team to top of the boiler.
We wore boiler suits, and helmets and took our tool kit along.
As we reached the sensor spot, wind was blowing and there was dust all over.
Nothing was visible !
Sensor was connected on a small boiler window.
Window was slightly open and fire could be easily seen burning inside the boiler at a temperature of 1400 Deg Centigrade.
There is also risk of life while working close to boiler and it was a 30-year-old boiler with walls looked like had already passed their age.
Lal Singh the technician climbed up few steps to check the temperature sensor.
I was standing a bit far behind on a level platform and was fearful but bit secured as I was not very close to boiler wall.
After few minutes, Lal Singh came down.
He was a strong person but he told me that he is afraid as there is risk of life working at that location and in the environment.
He asked me to climb up and stand beside him.
It was a new thing for me as I earlier thought that leader job is to give instructions and people have to do their work.
I was feeling secure at a distance and now I had also to move to high risk zone.
I thought for a moment and told him calmly that you don’t worry.
You do your work and I will stand beside you.
Inside I was also equally fearful but remained calm on the face.
I also climbed up the stairs and stood with him and helped him out in work.
Lal Singh got some confidence and completed the work in quick time
Those minutes of time standing there I felt like an eternity.
After completion of work, we came down quickly.
On the way back, I started realizing that what really means to lead with courage.
Leadership is not a theory to be learnt but a practice to lead with courage and set example to stand with your team in the times of adversity and even at the risk of your life.
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