I recently watched the movie Darkest Hour the story about Winston Churchill. It tells the story of the beginning of World War 2 and how Churchill rose to leadership and how he provided leadership at that critical time in history.
I also have recently read the story of Patrick Henry and his part in moving our country to become independent and free.
Both of those men had a character quality that helped them to lead in critical, difficult times. It was boldness. The definition of boldness is “Confidence and courage to do what is right regardless of the circumstances or others’ opinions.”
Winston Churchill was willing to take great risks and even fail because he believed he was doing what was right and best for his country. Many people around him criticized and questioned most of his decisions, yet he continued to stay the course and boldly stand firm. There were moments of questioning himself and dealing with fear directly. However, he did not allow the fear to paralyze him, he talked to different people to get new perspectives when his inner circle began to crumble.
Patrick Henry also showed great boldness as one of the first people to openly speak out against England and the oppression they were imposing on the colonies. His steadfast boldness encouraged many others to also stand firm in the face of fear.
Here are some key lessons we can learn from Winston Churchill and Patrick Henry about boldness:
- Boldness helps you communicate your message more effectively – Appropriate boldness brings power to your message. Sharing your message with confidence and passion gets peoples attention. Bold people speak up when asked to give their opinion, because they have thought deeply about the issue at hand and are clear about what is right and best for the organization or country. Even if they are not completely clear on how to gt there, they are willing to take risks to make progress and get the right things done.
- Boldness will improve your relationships – People that are not afraid to have the hard conversations in life have some of the healthiest relationships. They keep short accounts and resolve issues. Other people like being around people that are confident and value living and influencing over simply existing and staying in their comfort zones. Appropriate boldness requires having composure and intentionally working on relationships before they get worse.
- Bold people are often criticized – If you are bold and passionate about something you will most likely get criticized and even ridiculed. True boldness gets you through those low times of rejection and failure. You are not a great leader if you have never been criticized, questioned and ridiculed. Boldness keeps you pressing forward.
- Boldness takes a positive outlook on life – Bold people think positive and believe the best. Nothing kills boldness faster than a pessimistic outlook or negative thinking. If you focus on what could go wrong your boldness dwindles but when you focus on what can go right your boldness grows.
- God raises up and uses bold people – When you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ you have access to incredible power. God’s spirit lives in you and empowers you to be bold for Him. The stronger your faith in God grows the bolder you become. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, and of love and of sound judgement.”
When a person is not bold they often miss opportunities to influence and make a difference. Of course you can be bold for wrong reasons and sometimes people will be more of a bully than a bold person. Character matters when it comes to being bold. Sometimes the most bold thing you can do is not fight back but forgive and love. Stand up for what is right and good and protect the weak and oppressed. Be bold about things that make the world a better place and serve other people, that’s appropriate boldness.
Boldness is one of 48 principles that Lodestar Guidance teaches. Each principle has a short video and a bulletin that walks you through the keys to improving that quality in your life. It’s a great way to build a culture that is healthy and thriving. If you would like more information about Lodestar or leadership development email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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