Learn, Share, Grow - Practice Everyday Courage

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July 18, 2022

Below is a lesson from Chief Learning Officer on practicing daily courage, as well as our key learnings.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.

Practice everyday courage

by Pamay Bassey

On February 1, 2019, I made a professional commitment to learn something new every day and share it with my organization as the new chief learning officer at The Kraft Heinz Company. On January 31, 2020, I completed 365 Days of Learning, part of an effort to model what it looks like to #LearnLikeAnOwner and #MakeTimeForLearning in an organization undergoing a learning transformation.

As a result of that year of learning, I gathered 365 valuable lessons– which I share in my new book, “Let’s Learn Our Way Through It, Shall We?,” which was written to encourage others to commit to their own personal and professional learning journeys.

Consider with me, Lesson No. 80: Make a point to practice everyday courage.

In the summer of 2010, I had the privilege of visiting South Africa with my family to enjoy the very first World Cup on African soil. While I was there, we made sure to visit Nelson Mandela’s house. It was a small brick house in Soweto — full of awards, mementos and history. Throngs of people joined me at the small, refurbished house to pay homage to a giant of a man who touched so many lives while he walked the earth.Some of the bricks in the house were replaced with brass plates that had words of inspiration and motivation on them. I took pictures of many of those bricks — one of my favorites said simply: Courage.

I look at the picture of this bronze-plated brick whenever I feel that I am facing a large challenge or opportunity. Recently, I have found myself flipping through my pictures to spend some time contemplating this brick before tackling something important.

In addition to providing the boost that it always does, looking at the brick also reminded me of lesson No. 80 from the 365 Things I Learned From 365 Days of Learning: Make a point to practice everyday courage.

I’ve found this is something to be remembered every day — in life and especially in leadership.

Continue Reading Here.

Key Learnings:

  • “Most acts of courage don’t come from whistle-blowers or organizational martyrs…They come from respected insiders at all levels who take action because they believe it’s the right thing to do. And when they manage the process well, they don’t necessarily pay a high price; indeed, they may see their status rise. People who succeed in their courageous acts, or suffer fewer negative consequences, tend to exhibit certain behaviors: They lay the groundwork for action; they carefully choose their battles; they manage messaging and emotions; and they follow up afterward.” -”Cultivating Everyday Courage by James R. Detert
  • Could you benefit from making that recommitment? What role are you playing right now in your life or in your work that requires you to practice everyday courage?
  • Examples of opportunities to practice everyday courage:
    • All suggestions being made, you disagree with -- do you stay silent or speak up?
    • You have to have a difficult conversation to make a difficult decision.
    • Deciding to not fight a specific battle to set yourself up to win the preverbal war.
    • Being called to interrupt bias when you see it. Or stand as an ally to someone from an underrepresented group.
    • Deciding to act in alignment with your values and priorities -- or not.
  • Often there is change to manage, and difficult questions to answer. When there are no clear answers to critical questions, the act of drawing from your core sense of who you are, what you believe and what your values are can be grounding.
  • Given the world we live in, that requires us to practice everyday courage. Courage to ask, to explore, to doubt and to discover.

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