Bravery in the Workplace: How Courageous Employees and Leaders Drive Business Success

Date Published
April 7, 2023

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Bravery in the Workplace: How Courageous Employees and Leaders Drive Business Success

Bravery, or courage, is a critical quality that contributes to success in all aspects of life, including the workplace. In today's fast-paced and constantly evolving business environment, bravery is becoming increasingly important. It is what separates successful businesses from their less successful counterparts. This article will explore the importance of bravery in the workplace, why it matters, and how leaders can foster a culture of bravery to drive business success.

Why Bravery Matters in the Workplace

In the workplace, bravery means having the courage to take calculated risks, challenge the status quo, and speak up when necessary. It means stepping out of one's comfort zone to try new things, taking responsibility for one's actions, and standing up for what one believes in. Bravery in the workplace is not limited to frontline employees; it also extends to leaders and executives.


Bravery is crucial in the workplace for several reasons. Firstly, it enables employees to innovate and be creative. Bravery allows employees to take risks and explore new ideas, leading to new products and services that can benefit the company. It also allows them to learn from their mistakes and adapt to changes in the business environment.

Secondly, bravery leads to better decision-making. Employees who are brave are more likely to challenge the status quo and question assumptions. This can lead to more informed decisions that are based on data rather than assumptions or tradition. Bravery also helps employees to make tough decisions that require standing up for what is right, even when it is not the popular choice.

Finally, bravery leads to better employee engagement and retention. Employees who feel empowered to speak up and take ownership of their work are more engaged and committed to the company. They are also more likely to stay with the company for the long term, reducing turnover costs.

Examples of Bravery in the Workplace

There are many examples of bravery in the workplace, from frontline employees to CEOs. One example is Apple's former CEO, Steve Jobs, who had the courage to challenge the status quo and disrupt entire industries. Jobs was known for his willingness to take risks, his refusal to settle for mediocrity, and his relentless pursuit of innovation. His bravery led to the creation of revolutionary products like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook, which transformed the tech industry.


Another example is Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who had the courage to bet on the internet when it was still in its infancy. Bezos saw the potential of the internet to disrupt traditional retail and had the courage to invest heavily in online retail, even when many experts thought it was a risky move. Bezos' bravery paid off, and Amazon is now one of the most successful companies in the world.

Former US President Theodore Roosevelt once said: "it is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." This quote emphasizes the importance of taking action and striving for excellence, even in the face of potential failure or criticism.

Closer to home, there are many examples of bravery among everyday employees. For example, a frontline employee who speaks up when they notice a safety issue, even if it means risking their job, is exhibiting bravery. Similarly, an employee who takes on a new project outside of their comfort zone, even when they are not sure they can succeed, is demonstrating bravery, when you propose an idea, or simply when you speak up just because the workplace provides you a feeling of safety rather than judgment.

According to a study by IBM, companies that encourage employees to take risks and be creative are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their peers in terms of revenue growth. Another study by Deloitte found that companies with a strong culture of bravery are more likely to have high levels of employee engagement and retention.


How Leaders Can Foster a Culture of Bravery

Creating a culture of bravery in the workplace starts with leaders. Leaders who model bravery and encourage their employees to do the same can create a workplace where innovation, creativity, and risk-taking are valued.

One way leaders can foster a culture of bravery is by setting clear expectations for their employees. Leaders should communicate to their employees that they value bravery and encourage them to take risks and be creative. They should also make it clear that failure is not punished, but rather seen as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Leaders can also foster bravery by providing their employees with the resources they need to succeed. This includes providing training and development opportunities, as well as the tools and technology necessary to do their jobs effectively.

Finally, leaders can foster bravery by recognizing and rewarding their employees for taking risks and exhibiting courage. This can be done through formal recognition programs, as well as through more informal methods like public praise and thank-you notes.

Bravery is a critical quality that contributes to success in the workplace. It enables employees to be creative and innovative, make better decisions, and be more engaged and committed to their work. Leaders who foster a culture of bravery can drive business success in terms of financial gain, cultural gain, and company growth. By setting clear expectations, providing resources, and recognizing and rewarding bravery, leaders can create a workplace where employees feel empowered to take risks and be courageous. Ultimately, this can lead to a more successful and profitable business.

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