Yesterday l talked about trust and purpose. Today l would want to share the words which were summarised by one of the 23 MERITERS l was with during the entire 2 week World Merit Fellowship Program in the UK Jessica L. Cruse. She shared the words of Paul Payne, very inspirational insights he shared with all of us in the House of the Lords (British Parliament).
l thought they would inspire everyone who is going to read this post:):):)
“In the grandeur of the Houses of Lords in Parliament, the World Merit team was both treated an blown away with words that moved us all. He inspired the words of the seed and the tree and today I’m honoured to share his exact words on Courageous Leadership.
Being a Courageous leader
How would one define a courageous leader?
If we were to delve into our imagination one could imagine a courageous leader to be a tall well built chiseled jaw kina guy. With a big sword, fearless eyes and big scar across his face to prove that he was as hard as nails. #braveheartmeetsleonidis
I think back to my childhood and the stories my mum used to share with me. As I reflect on the topic of courageous leadership, my mind takes me back to a particular story of a young Sheppard boy called David.
David no more than 12 at the time was tasked with fighting a 20 foot Giant by the name of Goliath. As He prepared for battle I can only image the opinions of the witnesses that stood by not quite believing that David was the best suited for this mammoth task. He never matched the prerequisites, he was inadequate… This is not the courageous leader we imagined would save us.
As young leaders we too are face with the same opposition. In front of us there are Goliaths that look us in the eyes and seek to oppress the world which we are in love with. More so beside and around us we can hear the whispers of critics that don’t believe we can do anything about these issues.
As I reflect and mull over David’s story I quickly discover that David teaches us five crucial lessons that I believe courageous young leaders must possess;
1. You must have vision bigger than yourself; David realized that saving the lives of thousands was far more important than preserving his own life.
Courageous leaders need to have a vision so big that the mission no longer becomes about them.
2. You must possess skill and character to accompany you on your journey of leadership; David was an expert hunter, he spend hours cultivating his craft and building his character
Courageous leaders must be competent, they must have skill, they must possess character. “If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.”
3. You must respect the gifts that are in your hands no matter how small. David had only a few stones and a sling shot but he saw it as enough.
Everybody has a gift no matter how small. Courageous leaders are able to recognize the big impact the little things can make.
4. You must empower others, so that they can be free and hold firmly to the vision also; David never went to meet Goliath without first sharing his dream with others.
Courageous leaders recognize that it takes an army to win a war not a single man.
5. You must be willing to sacrifice everything to see this vision come into fruition (even to the death.); David was willing to die so that his nation would be set free.
Courageous leaders are willing to lose everything in order to fight for the truth that they believe in.
I would define a courageous leader as one who refuses to be content with what they see around them and bold enough to fearlessly take that first step against the norm to see change happen.
The War Strategist Tao Tzu says “A journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.”
Like David, are you willing to take the first step and carve out the path that will define your life?
And so you have to ask yourself three questions;
If not now, then when?
If not here, then where?
If not you, then who?