12 Rules of Courage

I think we have a Courageous Leadership problem. I recently an article Demystifying Courageous Leadership where it talks about how we live in an era of distortion, not disruption or transformation but distortion. Look at how we are reacting and leading through the coronavirus and the toilet paper debacle. We lead today in a world where there is much uncertainty, no reliable blueprint and unrecognisable landscape.

Within this landscape and uncertainty there is one thing that stands out in which we need more now today than ever in our leaders – courage. Courageous leaders are ultimately the ones who can lead through this landscape & uncertainty with adaptability and resilience as well as motivate their people around a shared purpose, inspire their customers, and bring their companies to new levels of success. Businesses who lead without courage visibly suffer.

Our work, numerous studies and research as well as findings across the globe have shown the best companies are the ones who have found the courage to make bold moves that transform their businesses. In turn they have stayed courageous especially in the face of complicated circumstances. Leading with courage through today’s distorted playing field creates sustainable value & outcomes across all areas of your organisation. Here are my 12 Rules of Courage plus find out more today about our Leadership Workshops and Programs.

1. Speak The Truth, No Matter How Difficult It May Be.

It can be so hard to say what needs to be said. But when you have the guts to say it, you’ll often make a big difference.

2. Know Your Values – And Stick To Them.

Knowing what makes you ‘you’; what you value and believe in, and holding to them in the face of opposition takes real courage. Great change is made when people stick to their guns.

3. Be Unapologetically You.

It takes guts to be yourself and love who you are. Staying true to yourself will help you navigate even the toughest situations while staying confident.

4. Never Let Fear Stop You From Achieving Your Goals.

It’s okay to be scared, but you can’t let fear get in the way of achieving your dreams. Acknowledge the fear, then continue and show the fear who’s boss!

5. Be Brave Enough To Stop And Listen.

We don’t always know the answers, and that can be hard to admit. Make sure to stop and really hear what others have to say – you never know what you’ll learn.


The only time you ever really fail is when you let defeat win. You’ll have setbacks, everyone does – but you have to keep going.

7. Do What Scares You.

We often learn the most valuable lessons from doing things that scare us. They show us that we can do what we thought was impossible and that we’ll come out the other side.

8. Learn To Silence Your Inner Critic.

We all have that little voice in our head telling us negative things; that we can’t do something or that we’ll fail. Tell that voice that it doesn’t know what it’s talking about, and squash the ANTs with positive thoughts.

9. Love Yourself Because Of Your Flaws, Not In Spite Of Them.

We may not like every part of ourselves, but we have to learn to love the things we perceive as flaws. Embrace your flaws; they’re part of what makes you YOU – and you’re amazing just the way you are.

10. Be The Bigger Person In All Interactions.

Sometimes people are going to say or do nasty things to us, and while retaliating might feel good in the moment all it does is create further problems. Stop, take a deep breath, and respond in a calm and thoughtful way instead.

11. Be Open To New Ideas, Thoughts And Experiences.

If you stay stuck in your own little box and never take on new experiences, you’re only hurting yourself. To grow and excel, you need to accept new ideas and ways of thinking to change your outlook.

12. Don’t Be Afraid To Fail.

Everyone encounters failure throughout their life. The important thing is that you don’t let it stop you; look for the lessons you can learn from what’s happened. That way you can do better next time.

By Sonia McDonald – CEO Of LeadershipHQ And Outstanding Leadership Awards, Leadership Coach, Global Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO, Mum And Award Winning Author.

Sonia is passionate about her voice. When Sonia speaks, everyone in the room feels like she is having a conversation with them as her audience will feel as if they are the only one in the room. She speaks from the heart. She is brave. She wants everyone to be brave. She is an impactful and motivational leadership expert and speaker that creates a life-changing experience. People call Sonia sassy, inspirational, real and a speaker who leaves a lasting impression. Her high-energy, authenticity and humour combined with actionable and practical advice, empowers her audience and provides them with great drive and confidence to take courageous actions and inspire great leadership in all aspects of their lives.

She is also the founder of LeadershipHQ and is a renowned and award-winning author, having written several of her own books, Leadership Attitude, Just Rock It! and First Comes Courage as well as being a regular contributor in The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She was named as one of the Top 250 Influential Women in the world as well as Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs by Richtopia.

Through her leadership advisory and coaching work at LeadershipHQ, and founding the Outstanding Leadership Awards, Sonia is internationally recognised as an expert in leadership and culture, organisational development, neuroscience, kindness, and courage.

As a full-time single parent, Sonia has a passion for women in business and teenage mental health. Sonia travels and speaks across Australia and Globe, and she is on a mission to building a world of great leaders and leadership.

We are a leadership development and performance organisation. We encourage leaders to realise their full potential, discover their calling, and make a real difference in the world. With us, you’ll find a truly invested team that offers genuine care and support while telling it like it is. We are deeply committed to the success of our clients. You won’t have to deal with the egos of large consulting firms – your success and progression are everything to us. In our work, everyone feels safe and inspired.

About LeadershipHQ

Outstanding Leadership Begins With You (With Our Help)

We focus on leadership development and encourage leaders to reach their full potential, find their calling and make a positive difference in the world.We genuinely invest in your learning, provide authenticity and tell it like it is. We are deeply committed to our client’s success.

We don’t have the egos of large consulting firms, and your success and significance to us are everything. Everyone feels safe and inspired at work.

We do everything –

  • Cultural Development
  • Leadership Development
  • Executive Coaching
  • Online Leadership Solutions
  • Team Alignment and Building
  • Safety Leadership
  • 360 Degree Leadership Assessments
  • Project and Bid Team Development
  • Survey Design and Reporting