Change drove me out of a fast-paced New York work life and my comfort zone into the world of entrepreneurship. Besides thinking about my friends or the Chinese food, I’ve never looked back—with the exception of reminiscing about the little gift I’ve coined as my negative blessing, getting fired.
Perhaps your negative blessing is lurking right around the corner—an acquisition made by your closest competitor or, personally, a promotion that you didn’t get. When you are faced with change, do you step up and accept the circumstance or do you allow yourself to be a victim of this newfound reality?
Whether you’re a CEO, a vessel for change, or just entering the workforce, I wholeheartedly believe consciously choosing courage works wonders for any willing soul. Unlocking courage, when truly embraced and understood, can be your competitive advantage and ultimate X factor—not just at your current job but also throughout your career.
Let me show you how. When you drive change, when you have the courage to not simply survive but transform, I believe there is an immense, amplified return on your efforts. The wings of change often take flight when a willing, courageous soul first begins to drive change by making space to create and innovate within a stagnant organization. Remember, either you drive change or change could destroy you.
Is your primary business goal to sustain relevance? Is it to change and transform your business as you grow? Both goals set out to increase the preference for your business by adding meaningful new messages or modern core competencies to the organization. By doing either, you have done what less than half of Fortune 500 businesses have been able to do in the past 15 years—survive.
Becoming a Courage Brand does not guarantee success. But, remaining stagnant and working solely for incremental gains are not strategies for surviving the rough, patchy, unpredictable business waters of the next decade. That’s the thing about courageous companies. Establishing your Central Courage System is simply courageous preparation. When you follow the steps of P.R.I.C.E., when you play offense and drive change, you put yourself in a good position to evolve, thrive, and win.
When courageous business decisions are successfully made, it’s like traffic opening up on a five-lane highway. This allows companies to stay proactive, not just be protective. The key word here is success. With triumph—small and big—the floodgates of possibility start to present themselves, and your staff will thrive off that opportunistic energy.
When courage works at the workplace, it becomes easier to choose courage in the office again and again. It contagiously spreads all across your team, office, and culture. Courage, in fact, breeds courage. With it, corporate confidence grows and morale balloons. Conversely, with failure, for many, fear breeds fear. When this happens, you can feel a negative dissenting poison permeating through the company’s culture.
Activating courage in a healthy workplace is like learning how to ride a bike. At first, it may feel daunting. You know there will be lots of scrapes and bruises. But once your balance stabilizes and you get those wheels moving, momentum ensues, and it’s hard to go back to anything else.
At our special-forces reinvention consultancy called Courageous, the “rally cry in our why” purpose is to help our clients liberate with courage. What we’ve noticed is that 95 percent of companies are stuck in preservation mode, while only 5 percent are in liberation mode. This leads to our call for action: to help our clients choose courage rather than end up in the abyss of business normalcy.
If you would like a step-by-step process on how to unlock corporate (or personal) courage, creativity and innovation inside your business, nab my book Return On Courage at Amazon. Or, reach out to me directly. I’ve been fortunate to share this framework with Google, Kellogg’s Europe, charity: water, Johnson & Johnson and many others. I’m happy to share more about the steps we take to transforming your business into a relevant, thriving Courage Brand®.
Ryan Berman is an author, keynote speaker and the founder of Courageous; a create-the-change company that builds and leads Courage Brands®. Ryan has helped install courage in the stories and culture at Google, Kellogg’s Europe, charity: water, Major League Baseball, Snapchat, Johnson & Johnson, Cereal Partners Worldwide and US Ski & Snowboard. His book ‘Return on Courage’ shows how during these courage deficient times, courage is a competitive advantage for those leaders who choose to unlock it. Berman also has his own altruistic Courage Brand called Sock Problems: a sock company that “socks” different problems in the world.