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Avoiding Discomfort Can Backfire

We all want to be comfortable; it’s how we’re wired. But having the courage to get out of your own comfort zone when necessary is essential to your success as a leader. A few years ago when the Great Recession was in full swing, I was coaching a CEO who truly hated to give her organization bad news. She rationalized that it could make her look weak and that it would demoralize people. She also fooled herself into thinking that “just staying focused on the goal” (her phrase) without acknowledging current reality would somehow be motivating.

I had a long conversation with her about courage; I told her that...


Cover of Leading So People Will Follow


Good leaders don’t have the luxury of avoiding difficult things—whether that entails having a tough conversation or taking responsibility for a poor decision. By having the courage to rise above your discomfort in certain situations, you can build trust and learn from your mistakes.