Be the courage you wish to see in the world

Written by  Saturday, 28 October 2023
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Be the courage you wish to see in the world.

As you know, we are super-keen on building courage – building courage in our workplaces, in our homes, in our communities and in our world.  With recent local and world events, goodness knows we need more courage. 

So, in our newsletter today, you will find:

  • A reflection exercise, exploring courage and vulnerability, that we use in our workshops. You might like to:
    • Complete this reflection exercise to build your own courage
    • Invite your team to complete this reflection exercise to build their courage
  • A recent blog which I was inspired to write based on the key reflections of participants of one of our leadership programs.  These key reflections are too valuable to keep to myself and so, I share them with you. 
  • A recent podcast in which Leanne Camilleri and Leesa Downes, co-hosts of Imperfect Us, and I spoke all things courage.


Reflection: Courage and Vulnerability

Two key findings from Dr. Brené Brown’s research are:

  1. “You can’t get to courage without rumbling with vulnerability.”
  2. “Vulnerability is the emotion we feel during times of risk, uncertainty and emotional exposure.” 

We know that courage looks different for different people; that is, the very action or decision for which I require courage, you may not; and vice versa. Similarly, vulnerability looks different for different people; speaking up may require a degree of vulnerability from me, but not from you. 

So, to explore courage and vulnerability – to understand what this means for self and to build openness to the perspectives of others – one of the exercises we invite our participants to reflect on is the following: We ask participants to choose a photograph, an image, a song, a movie, a book, a metaphor that depicts courage and vulnerability for them. I share the following with you by way of example:


This photograph above represents vulnerability for me.

It is a photograph of my mother’s childhood home as it stood a few years ago.

As you can see, my mother’s home is now weathered and very rundown. Some of the stairs to the top floor are missing, some are broken. You can see cracks in the boards on the top floor which if weight was applied, would most likely break. The palings – some of which are broken – are being held together with sagging wires.  The paint is faded and peeling. While her childhood home is vulnerable, it still stands proudly and can provide shelter if needed.

My mother has experienced much vulnerability in her life including:  

  • At the end of World War II, she travelled to Australia as a child with her family 
  • She finished schooling at the age of 14 … and is so clever and wise
  • Her husband, my father, died when she was only 37 years old with 
  • 4 children, of whom I am the youngest

She experienced love again when she met and married my step-father; and she has experienced so much more

My mother stands proudly.  She is the strongest woman I know, and she has taught me many things. She provides safe shelter and love. If I am half the woman she is, I will be very proud.

It is for these reasons that this photograph represents vulnerability for me.

If you choose to complete this reflection exercise for yourself and/or with your team, there are two important points to remember:

  1. It may require vulnerability to reflect on this for yourself and/or for members of your team to complete this reflection.  Make it safe for you and for them if you choose to engage in this reflection. Making it safe may include declining to participate. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how to create this safe space.
  2. #courageiscontagious – the more we demonstrate courage and share stories of courage, the more we inspire others to courage. 


Blog: Leadership Reflections

The aforementioned blog can be found here.  I trust you will be inspired to courage by these reflections, just as I was.

As you read this blog, I encourage you to think about what these reflections mean to you as a leader in your workplace, your home, your community, and in our world.


Podcast: Leading with Courage

I had such a great time speaking with Lisa and Leanne; the podcast can be found here

When asked who I look to, in addition to Dr. Brené Brown, for leadership lessons, my response was Ted Lasso.  There are so many lessons in courage, leadership, teams and being best self to be learnt from this great comedy-drama. There are so many lessons on kindness, compassion, forgiveness, empathy – for others and for self too. Goodness knows we need all of these qualities in our local and global communities right now – we are a common humanity.

In signing off, I say this again, be the courage you wish to see in the world,Be the courage you wish to see in the world,




Read 569 times Last modified on Monday, 30 October 2023 00:07