Stop Lying To Yourself

72 hours.

Locked in a room.

Nowhere to go but a good hard look in the mirror.

Often, it’s hardest to run the same exercises you run your clients through on yourself. We’ve all heard, “Treat yourself like a client”, but when paid work runs rampant, your brand goes to the back of the bus. Your very own story stays dusted.

But here my partners and I were committing ourselves over 3 days asking ourselves some courageous questions. We brought in a few clients we had worked with in the past and asked them to give us the brutal truth. We utilized those fancy whiteboards, scented pens, and color-coated post-it notes. And we were challenged by third parties who would be responsible for positioning us in the future.

Since 2017, Courageous has taken great pride in becoming corporate fear fighters.

Courageous remains on a mission to shrink down corporate fear

There is real fear percolating across most organizations: Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of the unknown. Even fear of success! Addressing these fears head-on, for ourselves, was the intent of our 3 days and it forced us to face some colossal questions that included:

What is the real problem we help clients tackle?

How large is the “connection gap” between leaders and their people?

What’s at stake when a leader doesn’t have the words or plan to land with their team?

Why do brands keep telling stories to the world that are not in alignment with what life is really like behind the curtain for their workforce?

What conversations are employees truly afraid to have with one another? 

What causes a “got your back” culture versus a “watch your back” culture?

Why is it that trust, transparency, and speed seem at an all-time low?

Round and round we went, asking ourselves, what is our role in it all? Which of the questions above are we best at answering?  And which ones should we say “no” to ourselves?

After our three-day spar with the above, we landed on two fundamental truths:

1. Most companies are stuckscaredstale, or playing it safe somewhere. 

2. Most often, courage is the “unlock” and key to helping them move forward.

When conversations aren’t happening because we fear our point of view is not valued we stay silent. When we don’t know the actual solution to a project, many say nothing because they’re afraid to admit they don’t know. When we’re working with a partner who’s moving too slow, and we bite our lip, what started as frustration snowballs to anger — all while losing heaps of time.

Often, we know the problem. We don’t know how to move through it. So we suppress the problem vs addressing it head-on. Having hard conversations IS hard. Making change IS hard. But the hardships that come from not taking on both will be far harder. 

As we move into 2024, we know that there will be times we’ll be called upon to be at the start of a partner’s hard conversation or change. To start, it may be designing a keynote, an offsite (we call them “Courageous Summits”), or a 1-Day Courage Bootcamp Workshop. Other times, we’ll roll up our sleeves and work side-by-side with our partners through a Clarity Mission, a Competency Mission, a Cultural Mission, or a Change Mission.

And now to my courageous moment du jour:

Stop lying to yourself.

Ask yourself the hard question? Where do you feel your team is stuckscaredstale, or playing it safe?  Do you aspire to re-energize your people? To refresh your big idea? To reinvent your tomorrow?  

One thing I know for certain is the “Re Sets You Free”. 

Helping you through which “Re” is our calling…and the call we want.

Courage is the key.

Ryan Berman
Ryan Berman
Ryan is an author, keynote speaker, and the founder of Courageous. His book, Return on Courage, shows how during these courage deficient times, courage is a competitive advantage for those leaders who choose to unlock it.
Twitter @ryanberman | LinkedIn @ryanberman

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