Courage Isn’t Innate – It Can Be Taught. Master These 4 Skills to Build Your Bravery

Leadership isn’t easy; it’s much easier to read or talk about than it is to actually do. This is why courage is essential for being an effective leader. When you’re a leader you have to be accountable, do what you believe is right even if others don’t agree,  have difficult conversations, appear (and be) brave in the face of uncertainty, and always be conscious of how your actions are influencing those around you.

It’s also harder in many ways to be a leader in today’s day and age because you are expected to actually model the behaviour you want your employees to follow. The days of “do as I say not as I do” leadership, and being a hands-off boss who leads by fear and intimidation are on the way out. Leaders now have to be brave, take responsibility and understand how much influence they have. This attitude is reflected in the way society is changing today. People want to move away from blame and fear and shame; they want to feel like they are enough.

Even if you don’t feel like the most courageous person, you don’t have to worry – courage can be taught!  Bravery may not be an inherent quality for most of us, but you can use some of the skills you already have to learn how to develop your courage.

Here’s how that works: courage can be broken down into four skills that, with dedication and practice, will help you practice and develop your bravery.


You need to be able to put yourself out there and show up, even if you don’t know what the outcome will be. Whether it’s in a phone call, a meeting, or talking in person, you need to be willing to shed your protective layer and let people see the real you.

Vulnerability isn’t weakness, like some believe. Being vulnerable also helps foster trust between you and your team, because of the openness and honesty that it conveys.


You can’t have trust without vulnerability. This doesn’t mean that you must trust everyone and ignore your instincts, it means that you should hand the reins over to your team occasionally. This a very effective way to show them that you believe in them and their abilities. It can be hard to let go of some of your control, but for the sake of developing great relationships with your team and others, you must start trusting them. Demonstrating that trust goes a long way to motivating staff as well.

It may be more comfortable to simply do things yourself, because you know it will be done exactly how you want – but when you start deciding to be brave instead of comfortable you start building your courage.

You must also have confidence in yourself; you need to trust your decisions and actions and stand by them.

Being clear on your Values

Leadership isn’t easy; it’s much easier to read or talk about than it is to actually do. This is why courage is essential for being an effective leader. When you’re a leader you have to be accountable, do what you believe is right even if others don’t agree, have difficult conversations, appear (and be) brave in the face of uncertainty, and always be conscious of how your actions are influencing those around you.

If you don’t know what your values are, in leadership and in general, you should take a moment to sit down and really think about them. If you don’t have clarity in this area, you are at a disadvantage by lacking direction. 

Once you’ve worked out what your values are, look at them closely and you’ll likely see that you need courage to stand by them. Being clear on your values helps you make those tough decisions, because you will be able to stick to them and reassure yourself that you’re doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is often the hardest choice, but your conviction will see you through.


Leadership, like life in general, isn’t always simple. There are often obstacles and setbacks. We all experience failure numerous times over the course of our lives. Since setbacks and failures aren’t going anywhere, it’s up to us as leaders to have a growth mindset when facing them. Effective leaders don’t waste time searching for someone to blame for what went wrong, they look at what could be done differently next time to get a better result. When you model resilience it helps your team build their own as well, which is invaluable in the world of business. Setbacks don’t take up as much time or money when you can brush them off and try again. Getting back up when you’ve been knocked down is one of the bravest things a leader (or person) can do.

Resilience, trust, vulnerability and clarity of your values are the four building blocks you need to build your courage. Each of these qualities requires bravery to enact, allowing you to practice and develop your courage in meaningful and authentic ways. 

They are also the skills that any leader should have if they want to be effective and make a real difference to their team and their company. When you start focusing on these building blocks, you’re on the way to being a courageous leader – and the world definitely needs more of those!

If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with the team at Sonia McDonald Inc. We have a range of programs and workshops on offer, focusing on courageous leadership. There’s an option to suit leaders at any stage of their leadership journey. Take the first step in becoming a more courageous leader by contacting us today.

About Sonia

Sonia McDonald Keynote Speaker

Sonia McDonald believes we should lead with kindness, from the heart, doing rather than telling and is known for her mantra ‘Just lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her one on one practical coaching, leadership training for teams and organisations encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped hundreds of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.

For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of HR. She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader.

Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is recognised as a LinkedIn influencer and has become an in-demand keynote speaker, starts important conversations.

She is an award-winning published author and writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, developing work-life balance, championing the up and coming leaders of tomorrow and advocating for women in business and male-dominated industries.

Keynote Topics

Sonia will give you peace of mind when booking a speaker. She is a proven world-class professional speaker with the skills to “rock an audience”. Her energy, empathy, kindness, sensitivity, and humour will enhance any event she appears.

1. Leadership Attitude

2. Just Rock It

3. Leadership for Small Business

4. Leading the Next Generations

5. Courageous Leadership

6. Future Leaders of Leadership

7. New Kindness of Leadership

Phone 1300 719 665 or +61 424 447 616



leadership course
leadership course free trial online
leadership course harvard business school
leadership courses for managers
basic leadership course
leadership crash course
online leadership course
leadership courses melbourne
leadership courses sydney
management and leadership course online free trial
leadership skills online course free trial
strategic leadership free online course trial
leadership development programs harvard business school
organizational leadership course
strategic leadership course
leadership training courses for managers
leadership courses for new managers
leadership courses for project managers
leadership courses for middle managers
leadership courses for senior managers
best leadership courses for managers
leadership development program for managers
leadership training program for managers
leadership program for new managers
leadership reaction course events
leadership reaction course manual
leadership reaction course army
leadership reaction course ideas
leadership reaction course answers
leadership reaction course solutions
leadership reaction course ocs
leadership reaction course usmc
basic leadership course requirements
basic leadership course reflective essay
online leadership courses
online leadership courses queensland
online leadership courses free trial
online leadership courses with certificate
online leadership courses for high school students
online leadership courses australia
leadership and management courses online free
leadership training videos online free
free leadership courses online australia
harvard online leadership courses free
free nursing leadership courses online
free online leadership courses for high school students
leadership courses melbourne online
leadership courses melbourne
leadership training melbourne
leadership programs melbourne
womens leadership courses melbourne
womens leadership courses sydney
womens leadership courses brisbane
womens leadership courses adelaide
executive leadership courses melbourne
executive leadership courses sydney
executive leadership courses brisbane
executive leadership courses adelaide
leadership development courses sydney
leadership courses workshops sydney
leadership course sydney
leadership coaching course sydney
leadership course north sydney
leadership and management courses sydney
leadership and management short courses
women in leadership
programs for women
keynote speaker
motivational speaker
emerging leaders
courageous leadership
sonia mcdonald
courses for women
executive coach
leadership coach