Event Date: 11/19/2014 (2:00 pm EST - 3:00 pm EST)
Webinar – Courageous Leadership: Using Courage to Transform the Workplace hosted by HRDQ-U and
presented by Bill Treasurer. Before we begin, note you can submit any questions you have using the
window chat area on your control panel. We will answer questions as they come in live with Bill at
the end of the presentation or as a follow-up by email. My name is Sara Schaeffer and I will be
moderating today’s webinar. Bill Treasurer is a Chief Encouragement Officer at Giant Leap
Consulting, a courage building company. Bill is also the author of Courage Goes to Work, Courageous
Leadership and his latest Leaders Open Doors. For over two decades, Bill has led training programs
for organizations such as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, the CDC, UBS Bank, Lenovo, the US Department of
Veteran Affairs and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Thank you for joining us today Bill.
And thank you Sara and thanks everybody for attending. I’m really delighted to be able to spend
time with you today. I’m starting from a place of great gratitude. First let me thank and
acknowledge Sara Schaeffer. A lot of the behind the scenes work has to take place to make these
webinars come off. She did a lot of extra leg work on this one as well as Sara Montgomery and the
good folks at HRDQ and now HRDQ-U for the university part. So I’d like to thank them. There are a
distributor of the courageous leadership material. I’ve done plenty of webinars with them in the
past and it’s always a great pleasure. I’m also delighted to be with all of you. We had 600 people
literally from around the world register for today so I want to make sure that it’s a good use of
everybody’s time. I’m looking forward to the time we’ve got together. My name is Bill Treasurer as
Sara said and I am the Chief Encouragement Officer of Giant Leap Consulting. I go around the world
to places like Singapore and Hong Kong and Sydney and Tokyo and ZÃ¼rich Switzerland and Abu Dhabi
and all through the United States and Canada and I’ve worked with thousands of executives all over
the globe doing courage building and everywhere I go, I learn something from my clients about how
to be more courageous. They inspire me every day and then I take the lessons that I learned around
the globe and I work with people like yourselves helping to inspire a culture that promotes
creativity and courage. Today my hope is that at the end of this session that you will learn some
tips how you can personally be more courageous and then how you can inspire a climate that
encourages courageous behavior in any organization that you serve.
Here’s the agenda for today. So I’m going to share with you some context and some background as
to why I think that courage is the most important of all leadership and business virtues. I’m going
to talk about the concept of fear and as it relates to courage. Inevitably when you talk about
courage, you have to cover fear at some point. Then I’m going to share with you what I hope are
some original ideas around courage that you can take back into your own organizations. I hope that
they’re unique and I hope that they’re ideas that you haven’t heard before. And then, finally I’ll
share with you some tips for building courage that you can use in your organizations. I have to
tell you that I am sitting in an airport today hosting this webinar from an airport in Asheville,
North Carolina. I’m getting ready to fly to Chicago so you may hear some background noise from the
gate agents as they get people to load the airplanes. I apologize for that. Courage, according to
Aristotle, is a virtue. He says it’s not just one of the virtues. It is the first virtue because it
makes all the other virtues possible. C.S. Lewis said courage is not just one of the virtues, it’s
all of the virtues taken to the testing point. Winston Churchill called it the first of the human
qualities. The Catholic Church calls it the four cardinal virtues; that courage is one of them. In
other words, outside of the work world, the idea of courage has always been the premier or one of
the premier virtues. My whole premise is why would that be in any different in the workplace?
I don’t think it’s any different at all. I think that courage is the first virtue of business
and it’s the first virtue of organizations and it’s the first virtue of leadership. I mean just
think of all the important concepts that connect to the idea of courage. To be a leader means to
render bold decisions that some people are going to disagree with. To be a leader means having
courage. To be an innovator and a creative person means to draw outside of the lines and even make
some mistakes. The greatest innovations almost always start out as blasphemy. You want to be an
innovator, you got to be willing to be a blasphemer and that takes courage. To be a business
developer or great salesperson means to knock on hundreds of doors in the face of rejection over
and over again and that takes courage. And then all of the other concepts that so many of you are
involved with in the training and development arena like conflict, like presentation skills, like
communication skills; all of these take courage and yet there are no training programs on how to
build workplace courage and I’m trying to change all of that because courage is the first virtue of
business and life and that’s the premise from which I start. Here’s how Jim ____________ and Barry
Posner put it in their wonderful book The Leadership Challenge, they said courage is a virtue
that’s needed to meaningfully change the status quo and create something profoundly new.
So if you’re in a field of practice that involves change or if you’re in an organization that’s
going through change or if you’re having to lead people through change, then courage can be the
operating system upon which other things can grow. Now I’m going to share with you some context and
some background as to why I think that courage is the most important of all leadership virtues but
before I do, I want to open it up to you and what I’d like you to do is to chat your responses to
this question – What is driving the need for more courage in your organization right now? So what’s
driving the need for more courage in your organization right now? Last week we were working with a
major computer company and they’re going through a merger. They’re assumingâ€¦basically they bought a
company, another world renowned company that you have definitely heard of and they’re having to
assimilate those people into the culture and it takes courage for the people that are having to
assimilate and it takes courage for the people that are welcoming the new people into their culture
and still having to honor their culture. So there’s an example of something that’s driving the need
for courage in that instance. What’s driving the need for more courage in your own organizations?
I’d love it if you would go ahead and chat some responses so we can take a look and see what you
have to say. Things that I have heard in the past and some that are likely to come out now –
growth. Organizations that are trying to grow need more initiative from people in the workplace and
growth is often an instigator of the need for more courageous behavior. Competition – staying ahead
of the competition. I was working with a fashion company that you’ve definitely heard of and that
was what their CEO said that our competition is always on our heels.
Okay Bill, sorry to cut you off. Can you see where they’re coming in, the questions?
I cannot. I can only see the chats and I’m not seeing any chats so I’m simplyâ€¦
Okay, can you open up the questions?
I cannot because we closed out of it before I had got on.
Can you go up to the view and then click on that?
And there should be questions right there. Just add that.
Okay. So I’m seeing some answers in here; some chats that you all had which is great. That’s
good to see. Let’s see. There’s a whole bunch of them. What’s driving the need for more courage?
Getting buy-in in their organization. Accountability somebody said. Customer satisfaction. The need
to keep customers satisfied and always coming up with new and clever ways of doing that.
Transitioning new and younger leaders into the new leadership roles as the older generation
retires. That’s a good one right. This organization has 175 new hires in two months time
necessitating the need for courage. The need to keep staff motivated when they come to work in the
snow as many of us have experienced recently. Changes to policies and technologies in this person’s
organization. Let’s see. The need for greater risk taking. Technological changes in their culture.
A fear driven management organization. A company that’s going through the Affordable Care Act.
Change in political leadership. Changing needs of customers and patients, etc. Increased oversight
by the national administration in their organization. So lots of really compelling reasons as to
why courage is important. It’s in front of us all the time. These are classic sort of examples that
you just gave me. There’s almost always a reason that’s driving the reason for more courage in our
organizations and yet most of us don’t have any training programs dealing with how to be more
courageous. Sure we’ve got stuff on how to give presentation skills; how to have more
assertiveness; how to have more trust in our organizations; but the concept that connects all of
those, that enlivens all of those is courage.
So I’m trying to change that with the idea of courage building. So with that as it is and the
fact that it’s such a need in your own organizations and it’s so important to your own
organizations, I’m going to go into some context and some background and I’ve tried to promote a
new organizational development concept that I call courage building. In fact one of my URLs is
couragebuilding.com. I know that you all care about team building. I think courage building is just
as important as team building to an organization and it has three fundamental premises. The first
is that courage is a skill. It’s learnable, it’s teachable and you’ve been learning how to be
courageous since you were a little kid and one of your parents took off your training wheels on
your bicycle and then they pushed you forward. You were scared to death. You took four wobbly
pedals, fell down and scraped your knees and what did your parents make you do? Get back up and do
it again. Persisting through suffering is a type of courage. Secondly, people perform better for
longer periods of time, with higher morale and engagement when they’re operating out of confidence,
courage and conviction than when they’re operating out of fear and anxiety. Thirdly, the entire
organization benefits when more people are showing up to work each day with just a little bit more
courage. It has a transformative affect when we aggregate the single act of courage that each
individual brings, it can literally change the culture. Now I want to be clear, I’m talking about a
tempered everyday experience of courage; little doses of courage; not gigantic doses of courage.
This person is not an example of everyday courage. This is massive courage. This picture is iconic.
We’ve all seen this image.
This is truly a courageous person. What is more inspiring is that he didn’t just stop four
tanks, he stopped an invading army. That is the picture that was cropped and you saw the other one
which was picked up by the Associated Press. But this is the picture that tells the real story.
Today in my webinar, I’m not expecting you to become that person. That’s an extraordinary amount of
courage. He’s likely dead and we don’t even know his name. What I am suggesting today is that we
focus on a more everyday tempered experience of courage that is accessible to all of us; not just
astronauts, just not heroes; not just people charging a hill with a gun; but for the rest of us.
Such as everyday courage could mean taking on a new skill or a new roll that eclipses your current
skills. Putting yourself in over your head on purpose. How about giving a presentation to your
boss’s boss? So many of you know that the book of lists ranks the highest fears and the number one
fear is not the fear of death. It’s the fear of giving presentations. Fifth is death, meaning
people would rather be dead in the box than have to give the eulogy. How about delegating to a new
or untested employee? If you’re in a management roll, you have to learn how to do that if you ever
want to aspire to a leadership position but if you’re always mired by not trusting people then
you’ll never be able to excel as far as you can go and they’ll never be able to get into a
leadership role themselves. But it takes courage to be able to delegate to a new or untested
employee. How about informing a customer about a mistake that you or your organization made, sort
of fessing up? It’s really hard to do in some environments. I’ll tell you where it’s really hard to
do it is in a hospital environment.
To fess up to some malpractice that was done almost never happens. And then how about enforcing
new performance standards on tenured staff employees? How about being in a leadership role where
you were formerly a peer and now you’ve popped into a leadership role and you’re younger than
everybody that you’re leading and you used to be their peer? That’s tremendously challenging and it
takes a lot of courage. So courage is right in front of us every day and these are just a few
examples. In any situation that those that I just mentioned, we tend to exist on a grand continuum
that ranges from safety seeking behavior on the one hand to opportunity seeking behavior on the
other hand. Most of us are willing to go out on this continuum to some degree and we call that
place our comfort zone. We start to hesitate at a certain point but before we start to hesitate,
we’re in our place of comfort. Well if you’re not in comfort by definition, where are you? You’re
in your discomfort zone and here’s the thing. Human beings and organizations don’t grow in a zone
of comfort. We grow, progress and evolve in a zone of discomfort. Now you can’t be so far out into
discomfort that you experience those traditional feelings of fear, fight, flight or freeze, where
you choke in your performance but you have to be enough out into your discomfort zone that you get
the physiological manifestation through sweaty palms and through cotton mouth and maybe blotchy
skin and perspiration that you have moved into discomfort. If you get it right, you move into what
we call the courage zone. You could also call it the learning zone or the growth zone. It’s that
place out into discomfort but not too far out into discomfort. To make sure that you’re preventing
apathy and complacency from setting in. If you’re a leader, you have two responsibilities.
The first is for you to be doing things that are occasionally outside of your comfort zone. The
key here is sweaty palms. When’s the last time you did something that caused your palms to sweat at
work? Another good question is when’s the last time you did something for the first time? When’s
the last time you did something for the first time? Now if you’re a leader, so that’s your first
responsibility is to make sure that you’re the first one up and off whatever high dive platform
you’re wanting people to jump off of but you have a second responsibility as a leader too and that
is to make people uncomfortable. Let me say it again. Your job as a leader is to make people
uncomfortable. Now I want to be really clear. I’m to talking about fear stoking because I’m going
to get to that in a little bit later. Fear has a tremendously debilitating impact on performance
but what I am suggesting is when you’re in a leadership role, you’ve got to nudge people out into
discomfort so that they can continue to grow, progress, develop and evolve. I’d like to know from
you the bold moves that you’re facing at work right now because I’ve got a poll question and I’m
going to go ahead and pull this pole question up and you’ll be able to see it here. So I’m going to
launch this poll and it should be right on your screen right now. How much of a bold move are you
considering at work? Here’s your choices: I’m considering a bold move at work. I’m actually in the
midst of a bold move at work. I’m avoiding a bold move at work. I’m not interested in taking a bold
move right now. All of these are legitimate answers. Let’s go ahead and we’ll get some poll
questions. You might be sitting next toâ€¦in fact; you might be with a group of people around a
table. Maybe you can decide on which person gets to answer or maybe you can put up an answer that
reflects all of you.
For the rest of you, I would love it if you could get your votes in. I’ll let it go here for a
little bit. We’ve got about almost 70% of you have voted but we’re still getting the tallies coming
in. I’ll be able to show this to you in a sec. In a minute I’ll be able to close the poll and
you’ll be able to take a look at it. Let me just get the answers back up. I’ll read them through
one more time. How much of a bold move are you considering at work? The first choice is – I’m
considering a bold move at work. Second choice is – I’m in the midst of a bold move at work. Third
– I’m avoiding a bold move at work. And four – I’m not interesting in taking a bold move right now.
Alright we’ve got 80% of the votes are in so I’m going to go ahead and close that and we should be
able to see the results here which I’m sharing right now. 28% of you said that you’re thinking
about it. You’re considering a bold move right now. The highest percentage, 58% of you right now
said that you are in the midst of a bold move. You’re currently taking a bold move. 6% of you, just
representing a few folks said that you’re avoiding a bold move right now and you may be the only
one that knows that. And then 8% of you aren’t interested in taking a bold move right now and
that’s legitimate. You may have just taken one. You may be resting from the last one you took. You
may be at a different stage in your career. Here’s what I want you to know.
I ask this question to groups all the time. I was speaking to a group this morning of 150 and
people and asked this question – 100% of the time at least 80% of the audience is in those first
two choices; that is, they’re either thinking about a bold move at work or they’re actually in the
midst of a bold move at work. And by far the vast majority of time, the people in the second
question, that they’re in the midst of a bold move at work is the highest number which plays out
here too. I suggest to you, and I’m going to go ahead and hide this slide and bring it back to the
presentation, what I want to suggest to you is if you’re a leader and you’re skittish about causing
discomfort among your people, just recognize they’re already there. We’re all already there. Most
of us at any given moment are either considering or taking a bold move at work so nudging people
into discomfort is not an unreasonable expectation when you’re in a leadership role. Now what I’d
like you to do for the folks that are either in the midst of a bold move or currently considering a
bold move, I want you to think about how uncomfortable does that bold move make you on a scale
ranging from very comfortable at 0 or 1 to very uncomfortable at 10 and for the other two people
who said you’re either avoiding a bold move, you can answer it as to what’s the number that makes
you so uncomfortable and for the folks that are not interested in taking a bold move, think back to
the last one you took and how uncomfortable did it make you. What I’d like you to do is just chat
your responses and I will look at your chat responses to the number that you picked. So if you said
that for me it was a 4.
I’m currently contending with a 6. Who knows what your number is but go ahead and chat your
responses in. Alright let’s see. Here we go. Our answers are coming in big time right here, lots of
them coming in. I see 7; I see 5; I see another 5; I see an 8; 3 is the lowest so far. 8 is the
highest. Another 8; 7; lots of 8s and 7s; a 2. I see a 9; I see a 10 whoa. A person out there;
there is enough people that I can say her name. Her name is Deb. She’s got 10; holy smokes. That’s
a lot. I got an 8.5. I guess I should have said no half numbers but that’s okay. We’ll take the
8.5. I see a 2 out there; I see a 9; I see an 8. So these averages are consistent with what I’ve
seen in the past and that is that the highest concentration; I see a 9.75. Now you guys are toying
with me. These are consistent withâ€¦I see a 1. That’s the lowest actually I’ve ever seen so these
are consistent. The vast majority of numbers are in the 7s and 8s. I do see some 9s and 10s. A
couple in the mid ranges of 6 and 5 and what I would say is it’s really up to you how much
discomfort you’re willing to absorb. It’s a lot like a risk tolerance profile. It’s going to be
different for each person. For me, if it’s between 0 and 4, I’m going to take that bold move. It’s
not so uncomfortable that it’s going to cause me to hesitate that much. You get me up around 7, 8,
9 and 10; particularly 9 and 10 and I’m going to be extremely thoughtful about taking that bold
move because it’s going to cause me to hesitate a lot longer.
But that’s just a way to draw a numeric value to your level of discomfort at any given moment in
time. My hope is, after this webinar and sort of high lighting the importance of courage, that
maybe you’ll be more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Here’s a quote for you that I really
enjoy. This is Ginni Rometty. She’s the CEO of IBM. Now Ginni Rometty has a history of taking on
roles at IBM that purposely put her in over her own head so she would take jobs that would eclipse
her skills. She’d swim into fast moving waters and then she’d swim into the skills and she did it
enough times over the course of a 30 year career that when Sam Palmisano got ready to retire, she
became the logical choice to be his successor at IBM. She has a wonderful quote that captures this
idea of the importance of discomfort and she said it at the Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful
Women’s Conference. She said that comfort and growth don’t coexist. Comfort and growth don’t
coexist. If you want to grow and progress and evolve and mature and have a relevant thriving
career, it’s time to get uncomfortable. Ask yourself where you play it too safe? You may be the
only person who knows the answer to that question but safety over a long period of time can be the
death now to a career. Safety can become dangerous to your career.
Now I want to share with you a story from my own life and it involves somebody who nudged me
into discomfort; really gave me a great gift in doing that but before I do that, I’m going to move
to the next slide. Great. Let’s see, here we go and what you should see on your screen here now,
these are images of me when I was 11 years old. I was not a great athlete at a lot of sports. I’m
not good at baseball; I’m not tall enough for basketball. I’m not built for football. I’m a lousy
runner. I was bad at a lot of sports. And then one day at the local pool in Larchmont, New York
where I grew up, me and my friends were joking around on diving board and doing back jumps and can
openers and such and back dives and by mistake, I pulled my legs around and I did a back flip and
my friends went wow and I went whoa. I found something that was my own and I got good on the low
board, the one meter spring board. I won the West Chester County Diving Championships three times.
I got ready to look for colleges and they’d all start to dangle scholarships in front of me. They
said Bill you’re a great low board diver. Tell us about your high board list of dives and I’d never
bothered to learn a high board list of dives because I was and am petrified of heights and this is
where the story is not about me. It’s about the person behind the camera. His name was Ford Winter.
He was my first diving coach and we had a decision to make.
Am I going to be bad at another sport or am I going to do something to deal with this intense
feeling of fear and discomfort that I feel with diving to try to get to new heights. So he would
take me down to Iona College. We decided to move forward. We’d go down to Iona College. It’s the
only place I’ve ever seen even to this day in the country that has a hydraulic lift diving board.
It was a diving board built on one of those like when you take your car to get your oil changed and
they put it on the big gigantic pipe. It was one of those and so he was able to move the diving
board to 1Â½ meters and when he did that my heart was racing. My heart was racing. I didn’t even
want to go to practice. I was petrified of practice and after about a hundred dives, my started to
come back to normal and after about 200 dives, it got back to regular. After about 300 dives, I got
a little bored. And that when Ford raised the board to 2 meters and now my heart was racing again
and I’m petrified; don’t want to go to practice. Getting welts on my legs and upset with him and
trying to scam out of practice. And then 200, 300 divesâ€¦400, 500 dives, I start to get used to it
and what does he do again? He pulls the ladder up to 2Â½ meters and through this process of
modulating between comfort and discomfort, he would nudge me into discomfort, help me acquire
skills, help me gain confidence, understand what I was doing and once I got it down and became
comfortable, he would nudge me back into discomfort.
I tell you this because the kid who started out with a profound fear of heights eventually did
this for a living. Now these videos don’t work super great on a webinar but this is video footage
of me in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Eventually Ford helped me sort of deal with my fear of
heights. I got a high board list of dives. Got a full athletic scholarship to West Virginia
University and then traveled around the world as a member of the US high diving team diving from
heights that scaled to over 100 feet that you see me climbing that 100 foot high dive ladder now;
traveling in speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour before hitting a small pool that was only 10 feet
deep. It’s all because of the coach who believed in me long enough to help me believe in myself,
who helped me live up to and into my potential, who held me accountable and wouldn’t let me turn
away from my potential and who nudged me into discomfort so that I could deal with instead of run
away from my fears. It gave me encounter with courage and it was redeeming. It literally became my
life’s work. My company now is called Giant Leap Consulting because I help people take giant leaps
that they’re facing. Everybody on this webinar is called to take a high dive at some point in their
life, certainly personally and many times professionally. The question becomes what’s your high
dive? What is the platform of safety that you’re standing on and you’ve been standing there too
What’s it going to take for you to get off that platform? Who will be impacted when you leave
that platform? What will it do for your life and what will it do for their life to see you as a
role model doing something to face your courage and to sort of overcome, if you will, or at least
dominate or master your fears. Ford Winter helped me. He gave me my whole career. Now I stand on
the pool deck and help you metaphorically take whatever high dive you’re facing and there are
plenty of high dive moments in the workplace. I want to move into the idea of leadership as it
relates to courage. I want to talk to you about two different behavioral dispositions that I call
fillers and spillers. Spillers are people that cause you to lack courage. They cause you to feel
unsafe. I want you to think of a leader that you least admire at work. What are some things that
that leader does to undermine people’s ability to be courageous? I like you to go ahead and type in
your answers if you will. Think of that leader you least admire at work. What are some things that
that leader does that cause you to lose courage or to be discouraged? So let’s go ahead and chat in
your answers. Great. Let’s see. Trying to look through the answers here; scrolling through. I see a
lot of the numbers from the number question that I asked you. Alright let’s see. Hey Sara are you
there? Sara Schaeffer maybe you can read some of the answers that are coming out with this question
here. Think of a leader you least admire. What are some things that that leader does to undermine
people’s courage? What are you hearing?
I’m actually having computer difficulties. We actually can’t see the dashboard right now. Try
scrolling all the way down.
Yeah, it takes 100 minutes to do that but I’ll tell you what, oh here’s some. Here we go.
Micromanage comes up. This leader talks bad about other people; micromanage; publicly shamed people
in staff meetings. No comment, maybe they’re standing with their leader right now. Micromanagement
comes up again. This person’s too disorganized and causes fear; a lack of trust; no support of your
decisions when you make them. They don’t advocate for you. They don’t follow through with things.
They don’t listen. Again, micromanaging. They ignore your ideas or suggestions. Sarcasm. By the
way, the word sarcasm is from the Latin word that means to tear flesh. They set unreasonable
deadlines. They bully others and they blame others. They’re dishonest. Let’s see, they second-guess
this person’s decisions. They don’t hold themselves accountable and they discourage communication.
They don’t support decisions. They don’t stand behind decisions. They lack trust with the staff.
They intimidate. They blame others when something goes wrong. Even apathy comes in. A whole bunch
of really good answers about bad bosses right. By this stage in our career, most of us have worked
for somebody like this that we least admire. Their whole MO is not to put courage inside of you;
it’s to put fear inside of you. Now here’s a humorous example that I often share in my workshops.
My boss gave the first Employee of the Month award to himself.
A lot of leaders like that are just plain arrogant. You know Florida State did some interesting
research a couple years back about what it’s like to work with a fear provoking boss. Now I told
you before, I want you as a leader to nudge people into discomfort but I don’t want you to stoke
fears. People with fear provoking bosses are twice as likely to be depressed and we know that high
depression has a negative impact on job performance and output. People with fear provoking bosses
are twice as likely to take sick days when they’re not sick. They are twice as likely to be late
for work. There are three times more likely to suffer from sleep disorders and we know that people
with sleep deprivation have a huge negative impact on job performance and safety and accidents, by
the way. And yet how many of us have ever had the Sunday night blues where we didn’t want to go to
work the next day because of some intimidating bully boss. If that weren’t enough, a Finish study
showed that 39 people with fear provoking bosses are 39% more likely to develop coronary heart
disease. Here’s the thing, if you’re a red-blooded capitalist, if you care about making money and
shareholder value and profitability and performance and outputs, you wouldn’t stoke people’s fears
to get things done.
It gives you exactly the opposite performance impact that you’re wanting and yet despite having
unprecedented access to contemporary management thought, when there’s pressure in the system, when
there’s stress and the system, many of us revert back to the leadership styles you might have seen
and a salt mine in Egypt 2000 years ago. I call these leaders spillers because they are full of
their own fear and they transmit that fear to others and they cause that other person’s courage to
be displaced. They literally cause a person to be discouraged. They dis them. And ultimately it has
a negative impact on that spiller in the long run. First of all, they’ll lacked loyalty. They’ll
get all of those negative performance impacts but in the long run, it will hurt their career to be
like that. Here’s how you can hear it and let me just suggest that a lot of us fall into this
spiller behavior sometimes. I mean I’ve got kids; I’ve got three kids, twin 11-year-olds and an
eight-year-old. Do I sometimes use fear to get them to stop doing something? Sure. But if I did it
all the time, I’m just increasing their therapy bill later on in life. Here’s a phrase that is the
most overused phrase in the history of business and it suggests a spiller type of leader. Well,
what keeps me awake at night…well, what keeps me awake at night is the competition is moving
seriously fast. What keeps me awake at night is the onboarding process is too slow around here.
What keeps me awake at night is our technology isn’t scaling quick enough for the growth of the
business. What keeps me awake at nightâ€¦what keeps me awake at nightâ€¦I never sleep the night. I’m
worried about this business and I want you to be worried because until you’re really worried like I
am, I’ll never be able to sleep so be worried.
Be anxious. Be afraid for this business. That’s what that little phrase is ultimately suggesting
that it’s the showcasing of your own fears so that you’ll get other people to be just as awake at
night as you are. Let me tell you something, employees don’t care or keep you awake at night.
That’s not what motivates and engages people. They want to know what gets you up in the morning.
What are the opportunities on the horizon? Where are we going that causes you to have confidence?
What makes you excited about the future that we’re facing? What gets you up in the morning? That’s
all they want to know from the leadership standpoint. So I’m trying to promote a different
leadership disposition, one that I call fillers. I love this quote by Dwight Eisenhower. So let me
just suggest, and I don’t know nothing about soft skills. These are not easy skills. They’re hard
skills. If they were easy, more people would do them. Here’s a guy that was not an old softy. He
was a five-star general, the supreme commander of the Allied forces, eventually president of the
United States. What he says is that you don’t lead people by hitting them over the head. Any damn
fool can do that. It’s usually called assault, not leadership. I’ll tell you what leadership is,
it’s persuasion and conciliation and education and patience. So now I want you to think for a
moment about a leader you most admire.
Think about a leader you most admire. What are some things that that leader does that helps
activate your courage? That causes you to have courage? Contrast it with that spiller leader; now
let’s talk about fillers, that they fill you with courage. They put coverage inside of you. Go
ahead and chat your responses to what are some of the things that that leader doesn’t actually puts
courage inside of you? So I’m seeing some. Great here we go. This is good. Let’s see. Somebody is
asking for the Eisenhower slide. You can have the slides as a PDF. HRDQ will be happy to give it to
you; I will be happy to give it to you but only as a PDF. So I’m sitting here that they continually
support you. They trust you. They empower you to do your job. They encourage communication. They
allow me to take a lead on a project. They equip me with the tools. They give me the training that
I need. They recognize the positives. They don’t just manage by negative exception only pointing
out what’s wrong, they also point out what’s right. They have your back. They support you, they
don’t throw you under the bus. This person says they support me and care about me as an individual
outside of work. They lead by example. They’re a cheerleader. They acknowledge the good work that
others have done. They have a clear vision and goals. They’re not afraid to get in the trenches
with us sometimes and roll up their sleeves.
I know that they have my back. They push me to succeed. They praise. He coaches employees and
empowers them to learn; reinforces small and big wins. These are great. I love seeing these; I
really do because we know what it means to be a good leader. We know it. We’ve been around it. The
question becomes which are you, a filler or a spiller? Are you putting courage inside of people or
are you putting fear inside of them? And are you putting fear inside of them because somebody put
it inside of you? So this idea of being an admired leader; a lot of times we work for leaders like
that, we end up having loyalty to a filler. Here’s an example of a filler leader. I’ve worked with
this person on four occasions. This is Sara Blakely, the Founder of a company called Spanx. Now
Sara and I have worked together as I mentioned four times in the past. She actually wrote the
foreword to the book upon which this courageous leadership program that HRDQ distributes is based
and the book is called Courage Goes to Work, and Sara both the foreword to the book. Now Sara is an
amazing person and she was on the cover of Forbes Magazine last year as the youngest self-made
female billionaire; I said billion. This year she was on the cover of Ink Magazine. She has this
great quote and it comes from the foreword of my book Courage Goes to Work, she said in every
situation where I was ever afraid but kept on moving you could substitute the word courageous for
afraid. I was afraid when I started Spanx with $5,000 in savings.
I was afraid i.e. courageous when I knocked on the doors of textile mills begging them to
manufacture my new footless pantyhose. I was afraid/courageous when I met with buyers and tried to
convince them to sell Spanx products and I was afraid first time I was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey
show. She also says this and she said this at the Fortune Magazine Most Powerful Women Summit; she
said when somebody makes a mistake at Spanx, especially when those mistakes key us into a new
insight, I’m never disappointed. In fact, I go up to them and give them a big high five. That is a
filler. That is the encouragement of initiative. It’s encouragement of innovation. It’s the
encouragement of creativity and its encouraging courage. I call them fillers. First of all, they’re
people who are personally courageous themselves; they inspire other people’s to stretch. They
literally put coverage inside of people. They encourage them and in return they get deep loyalty.
But do they get results? Well, Fortune Magazine said the number one living leader alive today on a
cover issue this year is the Pope. They rated the 50 top leaders in the world and he came on number
one. Why? Because of results. The percent of Catholics, who plan on giving more to the church this
year, to the poor this year, is 25%. The percent of Catholics who attributed to the Pope himself is
77%. So courageous leadership gets results. I’m going to move into a little bit about three
different behavioral buckets of courage that I call the three buckets of courage and then I’ll do
to a quick quiz with y’all, kind of fun and they now share with you some final tips that you can
put into practice.
The first is that there are three buckets, behavioral pockets of courage that I call the three
buckets of courage. Not all courage is the same and it’s a mistake to think so. So we need to carve
coverage down to size. The first behavioral bucket is what I call try coverage. It’s the courage of
initiative and first attempts. This is the courage it takes to do something for the very first
time. For you, is a pioneering event. Other people may have done it but you haven’t done it yet so
for you it means facing the unknown and applying initiative and energy and action. This is the
coverage of action and we call that try coverage which is different than the coverage of an action
which is the coverage of trust coverage. This is releasing my need to control and my need to be
right and following your lead. This is opening myself up and being vulnerable. This is me
delegating to you and not hovering over you like a helicopter parent. This is me entrusting you and
it’s the courage it takes to be vulnerable and yet it’s so important. I know that you’re all very
familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The number one dysfunction of the
team is lack of trust. Trust takes courage to be the first one to sort of put down your weapons and
get disarmed and say you know what, I know I might get hurt in doing this but I’m going to trust
you. That takes a lot of courage. So we’ve got try, the coverage of action; trust, the coverage of
trust and vulnerability; and, the third one is tell. Tell is the coverage of voice or
assertiveness. This is the coverage of the truth teller.
This is the courage it takes in conversation to be honest. This is the courage it takes to give
a direct report; feedback that will help them but might be difficult for their ears to hear. This
may be a lateral feedback to a team member who’s not pulling their weight or it may be upward
feedback to a boss who can do a better job of leading. Or in the extreme circumstances, it’s the
coverage it takes of the whistleblower. So try, trust and tell, the three different behavioral
pockets of initiative, vulnerability and assertiveness. The courageous leadership material actually
has the courageous leadership profile that’s included in the materials so a person can gauge how
much courage they have in each one of these behavioral pockets. It’s got 30 questions. It’s a 30
question survey. It can be done hard copy or online. If they do it online, it can also be done as a
360 and they get an extensive report on how much try, trust and tell they had in each one of these
buckets. What I’d like to do with you all right here is do a quick quiz and we’ll let you, at your
table; maybe you’re talking to other people; maybe you’re just with yourself but I’m going to let
you have a fun little quiz here and here’s your first question – You step up to lead a major
strategic initiative and it’s something you’ve never done before. Which bucket of courage do you
think it involves? Did you guess try coverage? Because if you did, you’re right. This is the
coverage of initiative, taking action when you’ve never done it before. For you is a pioneering
Let’s go on to the second question – You privately but assertively disagree with your boss about
a decision that he made. The key here is the word assertive. This is about giving feedback. This is
tell courage. Let’s make them a little bit more difficult now for your third quiz question – You’ve
got a lot of negative things to say about your boss behind his back but never directly to his face;
what do you think, which bucket does it involve? Now some of you might say well trust, because if
you don’t have trust that you’re going to be negative. Well that may be; it might be trust. We
don’t know because you also might just be a malcontent who talks about everybody behind their back
and has nothing to do with trust, we don’t know. But we do know that you’re not asserting yourself
to your boss. You’re saying thinks negatively about the boss to everybody except the boss. If you
had more courage, it would be in the tell bucket. This is lack of tell. Let’s go on to the next
question. It’s easier than that question. You let your boss in on a personal matter that’s
affecting work. So this is really about vulnerability. This is about you disclosing something about
yourself. It’s about getting real, being authentic, being vulnerable. This is about trust. You
wouldn’t tell this to your boss unless there was some degree of trust and if you did, the dividend
that you would get, assuming that they don’t betray you is trust. Let’s do one final quiz question,
again another one of those trickier kind – While going on vacation your boss inadvertently leaves
your personnel file open on her desk. You’re suspicious so you peek to see what’s inside.
First I asked you again, is it a lot of trust or a little trust? Because the truth is if you had
a lot of trust with your boss, you probably wouldn’t look inside; at least if you had any integrity
you wouldn’t. But if you had a little trust; if you really just didn’t trust your boss, you’d peek.
I think that this is lack of trust. Alright cool. So that’s the three buckets of courage and again,
with the courageous leadership material, there’s a survey that you can use to gauge your own or the
participants in your workshop. What do we want to do to build courage? The first is commit; commit
yourself to living a life of courage. The first is to making the decision that you’re going to be a
leader who is personally courageous and seeks to inspire courage. And then here are some other
things that you can do. I’m going to give you three quick tips. I’m going to show you my contact
information. I’ll tell you one final story and then I’ll open it up to questions. Here’s your quick
tips: the first, jump first. You’re going to be the first one up and off whatever high dive
platform you’re wanting people to take. You’ve got to be a role model of the courageous behavior
you’re expecting and others. Second, coach people to embrace discomfort. Nudge them out into
discomfort where they will grow, progress and develop. Work with them to set the stretch goals that
will help them do that. Thirdly, motivate with opportunity, not fear. Remember those debilitating
impacts of fear.
Use opportunity out in front of them. Here’s the best way you can all get in touch with me and I
hope you would, join me on Facebook, email me, join me on Twitter @btreasurer is my Twitter handle;
@takegiantleaps is my company’s Twitter handle. You can find me on Facebook and all the other
social media platforms. I want to share with you one final story and this idea is about that I
learned the importance of creating safety and this came to me…if you want people to extend
themselves, your people to take some high dives, you want people to do some challenging and hard
and scary things, you’ve got a make it safe for them to do so. I learned this lesson from young
girl with cerebral palsy and she happens to be my daughter. Now Beena, she has CP but we taught her
how to walk on the trampoline when she was five years old. Up until that time, she wasn’t walking.
We had to carry her everywhere. She was getting heavy. We have to put our hip out to the side when
we would rest and talk to people. And then one day on the trampoline, which I got; I have purchased
the trampling so I could teach my boys how to become high divers because Beena wasn’t walking, but
one day just for grins, I stood behind her and held her little hips and I let go to see what would
happen and she took a wobbly little step and fell down and giggled and that was different.
A lot of kids with CP end up in wheelchairs forever. Many of them get concussions when they’re
trying to learn how to walk so the floor is not a friendly thing. We had removed the consequences
for failure temporarily. We had removed the risk from her situation transitionally, not permanently
because she’s going to have to learn how to walk on the ground. But we had stumbled into creating
safety so she could gain and acquire the skills and then transitionally incrementally start
increasing the risk for her. She learned on the trampoline, eventually transferred over to a spongy
rubber mat and then we go out there every day and move the tape from 4 feet to 5 feet; the next day
to 6 feet and eventually she learned how to walk on a trampoline. So your final tip is to create
safety for people. If you want them to grow, progress and evolve, you’ve got a make it safe for
them to do so. I want to leave you with a final thought. This year earlier I got to work with this
fine group of people on this next slide if it goes; there we go. These are the coaches of the
Pittsburgh Pirates and I got to work with Clint Hurdle and he is the tall guy there in the back and
he really summed it up about being a filler leader. He said it’s all about encouragement. It’s all
about positivity and it’s all about trust and as I turn it over and turn it back to HRDQ, I just
want to wish you all the very, very best. I thank you so very much for showing up on today’s
webinar. I hope that you’ll get in touch with me if you have any questions and I hope that you will
seek to activate your own courage that already is inside of you and if you’re in a leadership role,
help people find the courage that’s inside of them and let it blossom. Thanks a lot everybody. I
appreciate it. Back to you, Sara.
Alright thank you so much Bill. That was really inspiring. We actually do have some time for
some questions so attendees if you want to go ahead and send those in now and while we wait for
those questions let me tell you a little bit about the program that is the foundation of today’s
session. The courageous leadership facilitator set includes not only the guide but a sample
participant workbook, profile and PowerPoint presentation and for joining us today you can review
the set for an exclusive 25% off for 30 days risk-free and don’t forget to use coupon code
webinarcl25 at HRDQStore.com through November 27. And it looks like we have a question coming in so
why don’t we get that started. Our first question is from Laura – Is courage the same in every
That’s a good question. You know I’ve had the great fortune actually delivering this program in
all of those countries that I mentioned in the beginning and if you joined us late, places like
Singapore and Hong Kong and Sydney and Tokyo and ZÃ¼rich Switzerland and Abu Dhabi and Dubai and
London and Canada and the United States and some really cool places. I’ve worked with many
different cultures, thousands of employees doing this very program which is in a half-day and
full-day format and what I’ve found is that there are some uniqueness to the different cultures
relative to their expression of courage. A lot of times Asian cultures are honor societies meaning
that they value very much the aged. They value people with gray hair. They revere them. They seek
their wisdom. They honor them. So they’re honor societies and they tend to be because of that, they
tend to have more deference to authority than in say the United States and our whole history was
about overthrowing an oppressive government. The people in Australia sort of are more like the
United States in that regard so we’re more willing to sort of not bite our tongue when it comes to
authority figures on though, all of us to what degree because we learned it from a young age, we
learned the don’ts from our parents. Don’t talk to strangers.
No back talk, etc., etc. We don’t learn many of the do’s but Asian cultures are a little bit
more deferential to authority and so when it comes to tell coverage, they tend to, in my
experience, it tends to be the bucket that is not as high as the other buckets. I think that there
can be cultural differences. When I was in the Middle East, same thing; a lot of them really are
led by rulers. So is Great Britain although Great Britain is a social democracy so they have a
democratic system but most of the places like where they have rulers and sheiks are under different
systems, different regimes and they’re under kings and their used to that. That’s what they’ve
grown up under and again, sort of get in line when it comes to authority figures. You don’t
question the authority figures. Although right now with the Arab Spring, you have seen them
question authority figures and in fact, overthrow regimes that did not take good care of the
people. So people have a certain willingness to bite their tongue to authority figures differently
across culture until they are oppressed or until they are treated or mistreated and then they start
getting their courage back up like the young man in Tiananmen Square. So I do think culture plays
out differently to some degree.
It also I think plays out from a gender standpoint that we express ourselves differently. My
experience has been, and some research suggests this as well, that women tend, and I say tend, I
don’t want to generalize, to be more willing to express vulnerability than men – emotional
vulnerability. On the other hand, men tend to be comfortable taking physical risks like daredevilry
and you’ll see it with 17-year-old skateboarders, boys, that they will try harder tricks and get
higher degrees of accidents and more hospital incidences when women are watching. So they’ll
peacock. When girls are around they’ll try harder tricks. So there are some differences. At the
same time I think universally the need for coverage, that I showed you a slide early on in my
presentation that the word courage, in every culture there’s a word for coverage that means
something to that effect. So I think that human beings literally, I think actually is biological
that we are equipped to be courageous because you can’t get through the human experience without
applying your courage in the face of fear many, many times throughout your life regardless of what
culture you live in.
Okay great. And our next question is from Mark – Is it good to always be courageous?
Another interesting question. I think that, to some degree it depends on the intensity. I think
that you need a break from current sometimes. I think you needâ€¦I needed to get those 200 or 300
dives in at the low board before moving up to the high board; that you need time for confidence.
You need time for some degree of comfort. You need contentment in life. In a marriage, you need
contentment. That said, I do think that one should err on the side of more courage than less
courage. I think you’ll have a much more fulfillingâ€¦take a big bite out of this apple of life
before you kick and you’ll have a much more fulfilling gratifying life to the extent that you do
that. But no I don’t think you should be courageous all the time and I don’t think you need to be
at decibel 8 to 10 all the time. It would be exhausting to do so. You’d be living a frenetic and
hyper kinetic life if you did.
Okay. Alright and third, this is from Kara and she said – We know you are in an airport now so
we’re all curious, how many in the airport stopped to listen as you presented this?
That’s funny. Let me see. There was a womanâ€¦they’ve got this little section here at the airport
in Asheville where I live which is actually is like cordoned off for business people and the Delta
flight doesn’t leave for a while so fortunately, there was only one woman in the cubicle in front
of me but you know, I get pretty animated like I use my arms and such when I talk so but it’s a
good question. But fortuantely I’m stuck in a little place where there wasn’t as many people today
as there could have been.
Okay great. And then the last one, this is from Janice and she said – What do you think is the
difference between courage and bravery?
You know what, a friend of mine, her name is Margy Worrell and she actually is coming out with a
new book called Train the Brave; I got an early look at it and I gave her a raving review for the
book very, very recently and she equates them. I think that the differences probably would be
subtle enough to do that. What I will say is I don’t think fearlessness is bravery and I don’t
think fearlessness is courage. It might be bravery a little bit but it’s definitely not courage
because courage is fearfulness. When you’re in a courageous moment, you are fearful but you’re
working through your fear and you’re carrying your fear with you. Maybe sometimes fighting your
fear but you’re not running away from it and you are not fearless. This idea of fearlessness, I’ll
see that bumper sticker sometimes – no fear – like that’s a good thing. I think it’s a silly thing.
I think that if you don’t have fear, it’s not really activating your courage. You might be doing
some dunder-headed move that could really put you in harm’s way so I’m not sure that I answered the
question. I think that the differences are subtle but I will say that courage involves the
applicationâ€¦courage is ignited. It becomes a great instigator of courage. It also becomes the great
hinderer of courage, fear, but it can instigate your courage.
Okay well thank you so much for sharing with us today.
Well thank you. All of HRDQ people and Sara and the other Sara too and all the good folks that
showed up today, a whole bunch of you. What a great honor to be able to be with you.
Yeah, well thank you. So unfortunately that is all the time we have today. If we did not get to
answer your questions, you’ll receive an email response next week so we appreciate your time and we
hope you found today’s webinar informative.
End of recording
We have high and often conflicting expectations of leaders. We want them to be reasonable yet passionate, decisive yet inclusive, visionary yet explicit, powerful yet humble. Add to that emotionally intelligent, caring, impartial, people-oriented, and of course, profit-driven. The list is so long that it often leaves leaders scratching their heads, thinking how am I supposed to be all of these things at once?
The answer is courage. It’s the backbone leaders need to step up to the plate, face fierce challenges, inspire others, and drive the bottom line. Join best-selling author and popular trainer Bill Treasurer for a powerful, informative webinar that will help you to inspire and empower your organization’s leaders to true courage.
Participants Will Learn
- The impact fear has on personal and organizational performance.
- Three distinct types of courage and how to differentiate among them.
- How to create an environment that supports courageous behavior.
- The differences between two different leadership dispositions.
- Strategies to become more courageous and inspire those around you.
Who Should Attend
- Team Leaders
- OD Consultants
Bill Treasurer is the chief encouragement officer of Giant Leap Consulting, a courage-building company. Bill is also the author of Courage Goes to Work, an internationally bestselling book about how to build workplace courage. He is also the author of the popular off-the-shelf training program, Courageous Leadership. The program has been taught in 9 countries on 4 continents.For over two decades, Bill has led training programs for organizations such as NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, the CDC, UBS Bank, Lenovo, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates