In our post titled Courage to Conquer, we defined courage as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty”.
While this is a correct definition, there is another dimension of courage that deals with the control of strength. We call it the Courage to listen.
Courage is an Action Word
In its essence, Courage is an action word. By definition, it implies the application of force, strength and ability. This includes mental and moral strength applied to a situation or venture. However, Courage is also useful when restraint is needed. As a matter of fact, it takes as much courage to stand up and speak as it takes to sit down and listen.
The Courage to Listen
Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II. He led the country and played a most pivotal role in ensuring that the Allied Forces did not fall to Hitler and the Axis powers. We consider a quote from him today.
Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ― Winston S. Churchill
This quote of his is quite interesting to note because while he was preparing the UK for war, other Ministers under his administration were pressuring that he sue for peace talks with Germany. He had the courage to listen to those opposed to his ideas and see things from their perspective.
Sometimes, it is necessary to surround ourselves with people that challenge us. Even though we may not like them, they are necessary to help us see things from a different perspective. As an executive, business man or administrator, surrounding yourself with yes men will limit your productivity significantly. While we do need people that encourage us, we also need people that oppose us so we can strive for excellence. Whether you choose these naysayers or not, you must have the courage to listen and to them and be objective enough to view the whole picture.
Who are those people that challenge you? What other companies do you compete with that push you to be better at what you do? It may be time to appreciate them for what they are and how they have pushed you to be better. Maybe also consider what ideologies they have that you don’t use in your company. That may just be the missing key you need.
Today’s Funny Quote
As is our custom, we leave you with a funny quote, also by Winston Churchill
A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. – Winston S. Churchill
Remember that courage is not just standing up to speak but also sitting down to listen.
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Have a great week. See you again on Friday.
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