Leadership and Courage

I’ve never been a fan of acronyms.  Sometimes I find them a little too simplistic for my taste.  However, not long ago I created on of my own in response to a question about leadership skills.  My thought was that often leaders today lack the courage to follow through with their vision and tend to bend or sway upon getting a little push back.  Someone asked me to define courage in the context of a college or organizational president or CEO.  I though about it quite a bit and came up with the following acronym.  I’ll introduce it today and, in the subsequent weeks, I’ll add a little more detail to each of the elements.  Let me know what you think as we go along…..


Courage in leadership is more than putting your fears aside and rushing ahead.  A courageous leader needs to be:

  • Creative.  Courage is the willingness to look outside the box.  Learn how to anticipate, research, and apply new solutions to changing conditions.
  • Orderly.  Courage is recognizing that moving an organization, like moving a ship, requires planning ahead and steering at the right time.  Random direction in an organization, like on a ship, gets you nowhere.
  • Understanding.  Courage is realizing that no one individual, including you, has a monopoly on wisdom.  Understand what others are saying.  Understand what the environment is telling you.
  • Resilient.  Courage is the ability to recover quickly from setbacks.  Einstein was often wrong, but used those mistakes to build lasting scientific truths.
  • Adaptive.  Courage is the willingness to change plans in an orderly manner as conditions change and the acceptance that we live in a dynamic environment requiring constant adaptation.
  • Generous.  Courage is owning failure and sharing success.  Giving others credit generously is a true leadership trait.
  • Energetic.  Courage is investing the time and energy to implement the vision, leading by example, and following through.
Courage and Leadership in Higher Education Rich Gross Solutions

Leave a Comment

We thought you might like...

Community College Summit Survival Guide Download
A community summit is a highly structured event whereby community and business leaders, elected officials and educators…
Downloaded 59 times.
Community College Fundraising Campaign
Preparing for a second campaign for any community college is in many ways similar to preparing…
Downloaded 52 times.
How to Prepare an RFP
It is a pleasure for a fundraising firm to respond to well-constructed RFP’s because it not…
Downloaded 55 times.
Have you adapted you fundraising methodologies to the status changes in your alumni? Recognizing the differences…
Downloaded 46 times.

More from Our Blog

Subscribe to Our Blog

Each week, our team of experts will put share their experiences, tips and viewpoints in all areas of higher education consulting, leadership, and fundraising. We're a team that consists of tenured individuals who have made it their life’s work to help solve some of the issues surrounding community colleges today. Some of our topics include:

  • How to connect and establish relationships with your alumni
  • Ways to create impact with all generations of people
  • How to raise more on a tight budget
  • How to properly manage your reputation online
  • Ways to prepare for a feasibility study
  • And more!