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Week 42: Pumpkin Sugar Cookies & "Choosing Courage"

This week, @judie_boroevich is going to be reviewing “Choosing Courage” - so ENJOY!

“Thanks, Stephanie, for another guest spot in your 52 Weeks of Cookies & Books series, and a shout out to Megan McAllister @meganmcallister_hr who recommended this wonderful book to me.

At the heart of Jim Detert’s, Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work, is the premise that courage isn’t an innate characteristic that only a rare few possess, but rather, it’s a skill that any of us can develop with practice. His book includes case studies, frameworks and exercises to help us develop this skill. I particularly liked the simplicity of the “courage ladder” exercise, which guides the reader through mapping out acts of courage to undertake, each one progressively more difficult, to practice with.

Key insights:

It’s important to practice courageous action in small, low-risk moments in order to build the competency and confidence required for bigger moments of courageous action.

People who are repeatedly courageous don’t share common personality traits, however many of them do share that their courage comes from a place of integrity, and that they live by a set of personal core values that help inform when they will be courageous.

Courageous acts shouldn’t be routinely necessary within an organization. If they are, it’s time to examine the culture and environment within the organization for the underlying cause. For instance, if employees aren’t speaking up in meetings, why aren’t they – is there a lack of psychological safety? Or a fear of engaging in conflict? Detert notes that “honest participation shouldn’t be a courageous act”.

Detert cautions that assuming we’ll be courageous in a moment of need isn’t a solid plan of action because “we can not become someone in 30 seconds that we haven't been for the past 10 years", and his book provides a practical, well-researched approach for being ready in that moment of need.”

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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