According to Scharmer courage is the essence of leadership as he argues that “courage comes from the willingness to ‘die’, to go forth into an unknown territory that begins to manifest only after you dare to step into that void”. Scharmer contends that in order to step out of the comfort zone and in order to bring about change one needs to be courageous and let go of the past that is not serving any longer. Leaders need all the courage it takes to expand and explore new horizons and also be open to something new, that may not be so clear yet.
Any occasion of leadership which led toward progress has involved courage, thus a great leader has to show courage in the face of obstacles and tough decisions. Any individual who is in a leadership position has to show that they have the courage to develop; make tough decisions and are ready to change direction. According to Widene courage is “simply acting on what we should do, regardless of any fear we may have. It is the choice to disregard worry. It is the choice to do right, to pursue our dreams, to be successful people, to lead the way for others.”
The courage to learn and step out of the comfort zone also entails the willingness to take risks and not to be afraid of failure. We are not always successful in our endeavours yet we also learn from when something is not accomplished. We need to reflect, accept what happened and move on. In the Japanese tradition, when a pot is cracked, they mend it by filling the cracks with gold, as they believe that when something is damaged it still has a history and thus become more beautiful.
Another aspect of courage is being able and willing to act from a place of vulnerability and to reveal our true selves. It includes making changes that will help me to become a better person, relate better to others around me and have a positive impact on others.
In the seminar we offer opportunities for the participants to step out of their comfort zone to experience new situations on a personal and group level as a way for them to explore the boundaries of their courage.