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Courage: The Missing Ingredient in Decision-Making


You must have the edge to make the important yes/no decisions: the edge or the courage. Courage is the missing link that puts the concept of taking risks and having the guts to be decisive into play and transforms them into a reality; often, in the face of great opposition.”

Noel M. Tichy

There are times in life when a unique opportunity presents itself – in effect a “cubic centimeter of chance” – an external window of opportunity that pops up in front of you from time to time. In those moments, you either step across the threshold, grabbing that opportunity; or it passes you by and is gone forever.

I’m reminded of Don Juan’s Philosophy of the Warrior — the notion that the task we all have in our lives is to be alert – aware – deliberately waiting — so that when that cubic centimeter pops up, it can be met with the necessary speed and prowess to pick it up. Usually we are too busy. Or too preoccupied. Or perhaps even too lazy to realize these moments. “A warrior, on the other hand, is always alert and tight and has the spring – the gumption necessary to grab it.”

Once you’ve done that – once you’ve grabbed it — the next step is to have the courage to trust your instinct and act on it.

∞ ∞ ∞

The courage to act in an instant is one of the most vital capacities we can develop. “Warriors aim at succeeding; therefore they compress time. Warriors don’t waste an instant;” they are deliberate, precise and sustained. This takes fearlessness – especially in today’s business environment. And it takes trust. Trust not only in yourself but in others.

So the first decision you need to make is the decision to trust yourself. Trusting your instincts in any decision-making process is imperative. Developing the self-confidence to believe in your instincts; trust your mental capabilities and have faith in how you envision the world is the most important element of decision-making.

Developing confidence in yourself allows you to trust others. According to a GolinHarris survey, 69% of American managers don’t trust their leaders. Why don’t these managers trust their leaders? Because these leaders don’t trust themselves. The courage to develop self-confidence and trust in yourself will help you to develop it in others. It’s a ripple out effect.

And what happens when you trust yourself, leading people fully trust each other? Decisions are made with speed and agility. There is collaboration and inclusion. Great insights emerge. And full potential is tapped as this integrated ripple effect shapes, develops and connects people in a way that drives individual, team, organizational and market performance.

Additional Info: The courage to act in an instant


  1. Natalia on September 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Great helpful article!

  2. Susan on October 29, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Appreciate your comment, Natalia.

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