• Ascent Leadership Program

Courage (a sign you care!)


Our environments are filled with complexity, uncertainty and fear all working to undermine individual and collective courage. It can feel overwhelming to show courage in the midst of external factors and forces that seem to reward holding back, standing down and playing small. Leadership is required to confront risk, uncertainty, and fear and is the driving force behind creating outcomes that really matter (vision).


Leadership research suggests our organizations would benefit from more heart, care, courage and authenticity. Heart-work includes practicing individual and collective Courage. Growing our leadership means stepping up our courage "game" and authentically engaging with each other. Susan Scott describes it as, "coming out from behind ourselves".


How do we increase our personal courage and invite the same in others? What are the costs in our work and life when courage is sacrificed for convenience, comfort or even fear? What is courage and what does courage take? We offer this lens for consideration – the willingness to act toward a worthwhile goal, despite the presence of risk, uncertainty and fear.


Some prompts for reflection and journaling...

  • How do I define courage? What does courage look like to me?

  • Where in my life & work could I deflate my fear and increase my ability to act?

  • What conversation needs to happen that I keep putting off?

  • What outcome/s need to be pursued despite the risk and uncertainty?

  • What is the connection between courageous authenticity and my purpose/values?

  • What is the level of collective courage in my team and organization?

  • Where do I need to lay down my “armor” and choose courage over comfort?

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” - Lao Tzu

We appreciate your individual courage and commitment to creating outcomes that really matter. Thank you for who you are and what you do for Oregon!

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