As consultants we spend a lot time thinking, talking, or developing tools of our trade — those tools vary based on the specific focus of your consulting. Often the tools of the trade are technical skills, talents, or abilities. All of these are important — to acquire, develop, and polish. Yet however skilled we may be with our tools, there’s another quality that is absolutely essential for us to have in order for us to help our clients.
Without some measure of courage, we wouldn’t be in the game (or business) at all. We’d still be sitting on the sidelines watching others doing great work and dreaming about what might be possible if we only had more courage.
In the beginning we need courage to launch out and get started. We need courage to confront our fears and the voices of our insecurities that tell us we’re not smart enough, good enough, or fill-in-the-blank enough. As Nelson Mandela noted, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man [or woman] is not s/he who does not feel afraid, but s/he who conquers that fear.”
We all need courage. And we all need it on a regular basis.
We (consultants and clients) need courage to:
- try something new
- speak out and share new ideas or a fresh perspective on an old problem
- approach a new client or collaborator
- stop doing something that is no longer working
- address sacred cows or 800 pound gorillas
Let’s face it, we need courage and we need it on a regular basis. A one-time dose isn’t enough.
As Theodore Roosevelt (former US President said) :
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
To dare mighty things on a regular basis requires constant courage. It’s not just consultants that need courage, the leaders we serve need courage too.
What if one of the greatest acts of our consulting is not the technical aspect of our work, but rather helping our clients find, develop, and grow their courage to dare mighty things in their community?
Courage is the topic for the April NPCons Twitter chat on Tuesday, April 15 at 1:00 PDT. Use your favorite Twitter tool to join the conversation and follow the hashtag #NPCons to participate.
Some of the questions we’ll be discussing include:
How do you define courage?
What happens with with consultants and clients when fear of failure trumps courage?
How do/did you find courage to dare mighty things in your consulting practice?
As consultants, how do we help our clients find and grow their courage to dare mighty things?
What does courage make possible for our clients, their communities, and ourselves?
We hope you can join us live on Tuesday, April 15th at 1pm PT. Your participation is what makes these chats awesome!