LeadersEdge blog
Insights for Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders
The Three Cs That Amplify Your Leadership – Courage, Compassion and Curiosity
March 6, 2023

In our previous article, we explored the concept of focusing on what you can control - you. This week, we are excited to continue to focus on your own development by exploring the three Cs that amplify your leadership – courage, compassion, and curiosity.  

We have written about self-awareness, emotional intelligence (EQ) and mindfulness quite a lot throughout the past decade because these are foundational leadership must-haves to be effective as a leader. They are critical because they enable all the other soft and hard skills that are necessary to your success.  

Our insights are based on the premise that you are making every effort to keep these leadership muscles strong, so that you are in the moment and actively aware of what is happening within you and around you. You need to be able to self-manage, and tune into how others are feeling and adjust your approach accordingly. Otherwise, you might stumble, be less effective and it will detract from your impact because you might miss opportunities or react in a way that doesn’t align with what people need from you.

Improving your leadership skills and ability is a never-ending journey, so buckle up and enjoy the ride. We are happy to act as your co-pilot along the way as you navigate through day-to-day challenges and opportunities.

Be Courageous

Leadership and courage are inseparable qualities. Leaders who lack courage can appear to be overly conservative and fear taking risks. Speaking and acting with confidence will only get you so far when it relates to driving tangible results and engaging your respective teams. Be mindful that people can see through the veneer; they notice when leaders are willing to be honest and courageous in various situations and that speaks to their character and willingness to be vulnerable and take risks.

Consider some of the qualities that separate great leaders from average ones:

  • Actively listen and create psychological safety.
  • Initiate and participate in difficult conversations.
  • Possess the ability to inspire people to take their efforts to new levels. 
  • Handle criticism and setbacks gracefully.
  • Foster accountability and ownership.
  • Act and follow through decisively.
  • Give credit where credit is due.
  • Speak truthfully and honestly.
  • Challenge the status quo.

These qualities are all connected with courage. Without courage, leaders might simply do what is easiest, or what will create the fewest waves. Leaders who lack courage do not want to rock the boat; instead, they might operate out of fear, keeping a tight grip on “the way things are” despite the promise of “the way things could be.”

Be Compassionate

As a leader, it’s likely that you already excel when it comes to the qualities and attributes that come from the head. If you really want to improve your leadership abilities and take your performance to the next level, it’s time to focus on the types of leadership qualities that come from the heart. Attributes like emotional intelligence (EQ), self-awareness, mindfulness, and compassion are essential pieces of holistic leadership.

Compassion can be defined as a willingness and desire to be kind to others. It means being thoughtful and aware of what others’ lives and experiences are like. It is the opposite of indifference or cruelty, and it is one of the essential qualities that determine whether one is a decent human being. 

It is related to the qualities of sympathy and empathy, but at its root, it describes a deeper sense of understanding. In fact, the word’s origin means to suffer with. This suggests that compassion means more than seeing others as separate entities; it means seeing them as a part of yourself and relating to what they are experiencing at a much deeper level.

Being compassionate is more than just a feel-good add on to your tool belt of skills. It’s a requirement of modern leaders who want to navigate their people and their organizations to sustainable success and a brighter future.

Be Curious

Grounded, emotionally intelligent leaders are self-motivated to learn, whether that be from their people, peers, or other colleagues inside or outside the organization. Those who think they have all the answers might find themselves falling short on their own level of effectiveness.

Learning to be a student of life or curious learner will not only help you hone your own leadership skills, but it will also encourage those around you to do the same, which fosters innovation and creativity. When we view every interaction as an opportunity to learn something new, it encourages curiosity and growth in others, too. Your role as a leader isn’t to have all the answers. It’s about learning and collaborating with others to come up with ideas and solutions together. 

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable; be curious, ask questions that force people to think outside of their comfort zone. Lastly, develop a learner’s mindset and never settle for “this is the way we have always done things” mentality. That approach will not bode well now or in the future.

What are your thoughts on the three Cs that amplify your leadership? Are we missing any others that you see as critical to being a successful leader?

We want to hear from you. Please contact me at 416-560-1806 or email me at joanne.trotta@leadersedgeinc.ca.

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