Building Blocks for Courage

On Saturday I was honored to present my Learn to Lead with Courage training for Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) Nevada students from Northern Nevada at their first annual Career Development Conference. The premise of my presentation and for that matter, Ninja Courage is this: you need a foundation from which you can take big leaps and be courageous. That foundation has three building blocks: strengths, values and health. You must first know what you are naturally good at and more pointedly, how you naturally think, feel and behave. These are your talents or strengths and there are many ways of getting to know them, the fastest though is by using the CliftonStrengths assessment.  Second, you need to understand what is most important to you. The culmination of my presentation to the students is a values clarification exercise where they determine their core 3 or 4 values that guide their decision making. The third piece of your foundation is built on your health. Taking care of your body, mind and soul is a powerful exercise in courage, all on its own. You will build courage just by working through the exercises. By taking a good hard look at yourself, your habits, your values and your behaviors you can’t help getting more brave. You also set a foundation for determining what you care enough about to be really brave for. The keynote speaker at the JAG event was Brian Williams from Think Kindness. He asked all of us to yell with him, “Be Kind, Be Brave, Change the World!” So first, be kind to yourself, build bravery to be kind to strangers and then get out there and share your gifts with the world.  The world needs you and what only you have to offer.