Are You Brave Enough To Be A Leader?

We need brave leaders

Henry Kissinger said, “The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” 

This requires a lot of courage! Because most of the time the one who leads has only been at the destination in their imagination.

The Measure of Leadership

Leadership and success shouldn’t be measured by money or the number of social media followers. The measure of leadership is wisdom, practicality, and integrity. 

I am sure, you have watched leaders in your life be opportunistic or changed their opinions whenever the wind blew in a new direction. Sometimes these people will “win” even with wrongdoing. Because good doesn’t always win, but good will always be good. 

What is Courage?

Courage is a human quality that embodies the ability to face fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or threat, and its definition obviously depends on the culture in which it is used. 

Some define courage as the absence of fear in a situation where a feeling of fear is expected to be on its way. An opposite and complementary approach is that courage is manifested precisely in those who feel fear and manage to overcome it.

Expressions of courage can be divided into “physical courage” and “social-civil courage”.

  1. Physical courage is the willingness and ability to face physical pain, physical suffering, and risk injury and even death. It reaches an extreme in the willingness to risk the lives of combatants on the battlefield or members of the rescue and emergency forces in order to save lives.
  2. Social-Civil Courage is the ability to protest against moral injustice while taking risks. It may manifest in people fighting to prevent violent crime, citizens protesting an unjust situation, or even when a child defends a friend who is being attacked or ostracized.

Why is courage an essential leadership quality?

A combined search of the two words ‘leadership and courage’ on Google yields 105 million results. Hundreds of books about leadership have addressed the subject, and countless models of leadership have defined courage or boldness as critical cornerstones of leadership, along with other qualities and skills.

Courage and risk-taking are part of a constant process of making decisions and implementing them, which is required by many managers and leaders, for a number of reasons:

  • Courage is an expression of passion and a very high commitment to a vision and path.
  • It is one of the tools for leaders to create trust and inspiration. These are key for those who are willing to listen and follow.
  • Breakthroughs require walking on the borderline, breaking boundaries, and taking risks.

The Golden Path

Jewish philosopher Maimonides, when he looks at the Golden Path, recognizes two opposing dimensions: on one side is cowardice and on the other is adventurousness. “Courage” is the middle measure, the golden path between these two dimensions.

As an example, a person on the Golden Path will not run away from conflicts and puts himself in danger only when necessary, such as during war or when he needs to protect himself or his relatives. This aligns with all principles of Krav Maga. 

Hardships are Turning Points

The future will bring hardship, you don’t need me to be the “prophet of the apocalypse” to tell you that. Life’s progression isn’t linear but full of ups and downs. Expect them, and learn from them.

There will be crises, internal and external, and perhaps also natural disasters. Any of these can be a turning point toward building a more prosperous model society. 

In order to deal with these complexities and crises, we each have to take back control over our own lives. We might not be able to change the world, but we can change a lot of how we experience our own reality.

The answers aren’t going to be found on some IG account of a fit, half-naked body who figured out life and can now tell us all how to live and exercise. 

New York is a city in transition, and it also can be a city of danger. Moving here requires people with courage and the ability to overcome fear, overcome obstacles, take action and make decisions that will sometimes not be to the liking of others. 

For me, leadership wasn’t a choice, because I didn’t see another way in trying to make the difference I wanted to see in the world. I might not change the whole world, but I will for sure die trying.

You are your own world. Someone must lead it, it should be you.


Tsahi Shemesh