It takes physical courage to set healthy boundaries and practices for sustaining your energy rather than succumbing to burnout and overwork. In doing so, though, you risk being seen as weak or uncommitted.
It takes moral courage to speak truth to power, like we’re seeing with people sharing their stories of sexual abuse and harassment in the workplace, or reporting unfair business practices. But again, you risk losing your job, your privacy, retaliation, and so on.
It takes social courage to show up with your whole self, to risk sharing your best ideas, to risk being wrong, to be vulnerable and honest about acknowledging your limitations, or to risk asking for help.
It takes courage to be innovative in the commonly used sense of “creative,” the courage to risk and fail and try again. But what about the courage to create a culture where people can truly flourish? Yet again, to go against the status quo and try new ways of “being and doing” at work can be risky.
Collective courage is what we need most—people working together with integrity, commitment, and a capacity to cross lines of difference. Without such courage, we risk complex, volatile issues getting even worse. We risk missing a chance to make things better.