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High-Stakes Leadership by Constance Dierickx

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Chapter 2

Courage in Crisis

The word courage is laden with emotion and high drama. Just look at its etymology.

“Courage” comes from the Latin cor, which means “heart.” Heart, in fact, has been used as the defining quality of courage—likely for as long as there have been people on the face of this earth. The proverbs and folktales that we all grew up with are chock-full of examples of brave men and women who faced down very scary circumstances, people, and the occasional monster to achieve their goals.

When someone is bereft, we tell them, “Take heart.” When someone shows insight, we say they’ve cut through the chaos to get to “the heart of the matter.” When we have a very honest and in-depth conversation with someone, we are said to have had ...

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