Fearless Leadership

It’s not often that I pick up a non-fiction book and am simultaneously excited, inspired and trembling with anticipation within the first dozen pages. It happened to me this week. I picked up a book and could scarcely put it down until I’d read all 266 pages. It was titled Fearless Leadership by American author Carey Lohrenz.

Lohrenz was the US Navy’s first female F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot whose office was the cockpit of a jet and her parking space the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. She now helps develop leadership and team building skills for some of the largest companies in the world.

Her message is crystal clear. Real leadership is fearless leadership and it is built through the application of courage, tenacity and integrity. Her insights are peppered with her own personal experiences in the navy and how the lessons can be applied in real life.

What struck me most about the book is the desperate need for the application of these principles into almost every aspect of our community. We need people with courage, tenacity and integrity in business, our community, our families and especially in politics.

Although I was captured by the introduction immediately, it was one of the early passages on courage that really made me think how important her principles are in the world of politics. She writes:

“Courage also means speaking up even when you know the existing culture won’t support you. Courage also means admitting when you were wrong and holding yourself accountable. Leaders who don’t display courage – fearful leaders – discourage conflicting opinions and squash dissent. You know who they are: the “yes, sir” and “yes, ma’am” folks – the ones who give in to pressure and then walk away rolling their eyes.”

Given that assessment, how many political types would you identify as courageous or fearful leaders?

Fearful leaders do us all a disservice. We get more of the status quo even when we know it is taking us down the wrong path. We get group think and careerists, rather than innovation and the battle of ideas. Decisions are made on the basis of how it will affect the inner circle rather than the common good.

While it’s popular to claim bold political policy initiatives as courageous, I am now coming to a conclusion they are determined more often through fear. Fear of not being able to control the existing process, fear of not having a ‘fresh new idea’ – goodness knows some people might even fear being called a conservative!

There is so much more in this book for current and future leaders that I have ordered dozens of copies that I’ll be distributing through the Conservative Leadership Foundation. That’s my not-for-profit organisation that is committed to developing Australia’s future leaders who support limited government, personal responsibility, free enterprise and traditional values. I like to think the team of volunteers do some good work in nurturing tomorrow’s leadership talent. You can find out more about it by visiting the Foundation website at www.conservative.org.au

Whilst there, you can pick up a copy of Fearless Leadership by joining our Read to Lead program. If not for yourself, do it for someone you care about.

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