Leading from the ‘Cor’ in Courage

April 27, 2015 at 7:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


“The original definition of ‘courage’ . . . is from the Latin word ‘cor,’ meaning ‘heart.’ And the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. And so these folks had, very simply, the courage to be imperfect.” – Brené Brown

When I think of the leaders who I most admire (remembering that when I use the word leader I don’t just mean visible leaders who hold a particular position) it is probably their ‘heartful’ connection within their daily thoughts, words and actions that inspires me most. They seem to be people (regardless of their gender, age, circumstance, etc.) who are very aware of their humanness, are happy to be ongoing learners, are not trying to hide where it is that they have made mistakes, they seek out the help of others and are excited and grateful about their opportunities. They seem to have taken the time to reflect on what’s true for them and have decided to lead from their Cor (heart), realising that they won’t always get it right, that they can’t do it alone and that even though it might be challenging that they couldn’t imagine leading any other way. Very importantly in this process they have accepted responsibility for the fact that they can make a difference!

“One man with courage makes a majority.”– Andrew Jackson

To me, this is the true embodiment of ‘being the change we wish to see in the world’. None of us as humans are perfect, getting it right all the time or having all the answers. The leaders journey is definitely ‘not about perfection, it’s about progress’. It can be very challenging and vulnerable to engage and interact with the world from the Cor in Courage but we would all have experienced before the feelings associated with not listening to what’s true for you. It just doesn’t feel right to make a habit of putting ‘heartful’ connection within our daily thoughts, words and actions to the side. I guess this is why courage and heart are so inextricably linked through this original definition, we really couldn’t have one without the other.

“Courage is a heart word. The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage meant “To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” Over time, this definition has changed, and today, we typically associate courage with heroic and brave deeds. But in my opinion, this definition fails to recognise the inner strength and level of commitment required for us to actually speak honestly and openly about who we are and about our experiences – good and bad. Speaking from our hearts is what I think of as “ordinary courage.” – Brené Brown

Can we be ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals who believe deeply in our own and others potential’ without courage? Why is being able to display ‘ordinary courage’, speaking from our hearts (the good and the bad experiences), so important? How can we most effectively support each other as leaders in this courageous journey that we are all on?

“It’s OK to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation.” – Helen Keller


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