Bold leader
Photo by Alexandre Chambon on Unsplash

Want to be a Bold Leader?

“Do one thing each day that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

What are you going to do today that scares the hell out of you? That’s what truly phenomenal leaders ask themselves each day. That’s what they ask their VP’s, division leaders, and even their children. You can do this!

Just do these three things:

Dream Big

Envisioning the result of your hard work is an amazingly powerful tool. It gives you and those involved the feeling the risk of stepping out of your comfort zone and concrete belief that it is worth it. Paint a picture of the win. Make a video for yourself. Use lots of detail in your description.  Make it present tense–you’ve already accomplished this. You can do this in an executive meeting, with the Board, with the soccer team. Make it fun, pertinent, and real.

How will you feel when you’ve accomplished your amazing feat? What words will you use to describe how it all played out to your biggest supporters? What will the most exciting benefit be for you, for others? Use lots of detail about the physical aspects–how are you feeling, what are you wearing, how are you standing, what are your facial expressions? As a leader, if you start this with high positive energy, others will become engaged and enthusiastic.

Here’s a simple example:  At Saturday spin class the room was packed, every bike taken. Some had clearly just rolled out of bed after a tough Friday night unwinding from the week. As the music cranked up, the instructor boldly stated that today was our day to make the most of every moment. “You decide to do it and you can!” He pushed and pushed, and just as we thought we couldn’t do more he got out his phone. “This Instagram video is going to show the world how you showed up and gave it your all today. I am so proud of you all!” And he proceeded to capture all of our sweating, smiling faces. It gave us extra energy to push a little harder and faster, knowing that the we would soon be sharing our effort with our friends and families.

Articulate the “Scary” Part

As you dream big, pay close attention to what makes you gulp. If this is indeed scary, there will certainly be two or three things that seem especially daunting. They may not seem big objectively, but take time to think about why they have given you pause. Look at each one from several different perspectives and take your time to understand why they have power. Once you can articulate the full power of the “monster under the bed,” the spotlight is now on him and his hold on you goes away. This is a powerful tool to use with others in your organization too, helping them to fully understand what is getting in their way of major breakthroughs. Working with teams on this process is incredibly effective.

Play All Out – Turn the Obstacles into Opportunities

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.
Norman Vincent Peale

Now comes the fun part. Go back to vision. Set goals to get it done. Depending on the size of the challenge this can be very simple or more complex. Shine the light on each of your “monsters” and blast them with strategies to take them out, one at a time. Enlisting help with these obstacles gives you more people to celebrate with you when you’ve accomplished your objective. It makes you more “real” and sets an example of stepping up to big and bold play.

Focus on these three steps to be a bold leader, fearless in knowing that you can accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible.

Go for it, you’ve got this!

Executive Leadership Coaching is a powerful resource when you are ready to Play All Out. For more ideas on making bold changes to your Leadership for remarkable breakthrough results, email BreakAway Leadership Coaching founder, Karyn Grant, at [email protected] or visit