Supportive Connections: The Secret to Courageous Leadership
Supportive Connections Have Many Benefits- Including Courageous Leadership
At Visible Network Labs we believe that your health and well-being are rooted in your supportive connections. I want to take that one step further and say that your leadership is also rooted in your supportive connections as well. I was recently shown a specific video of Simon Sinek speaking by one of my mentors. Within that video, Simon brought up how the relationships you foster throughout your lifetime will impact the leader you eventually become. And it is through those supportive connections, that we find our courage to be great leaders and inspire others to also act and lead with courage.
“It’s the relationships we foster, the people who love us, and care about us, and believe in us. And when we have those relationships, we will find the courage to do the right things, and when we act with courage, that in turn, will inspire your organization to also act with courage.”
Courage is a crucial skill within leadership. Leaders are meant to forge the way forward and inspire others to follow them down that path. For network managers, courageous leadership shows up in multiple ways. For example, courage is having a difficult conversation with stakeholders, partners and funders that opens the door to change in the community instead of brushing it aside. Courage can be a new initiative in the region to end homelessness, tackle the opioid epidemic, or ensure that no child is left hungry or goes without food. Courage can be building new relationships with other community partners you may not have reached out to before and facing that fear of rejection.
Leadership Isn't Always Comfortable. That's why Courageous Leadership is Key!
Leadership is not always comfortable; leading change requires stepping outside of our comfort zones. Courageous leadership is about consistently opening yourself up to be vulnerable, working through that discomfort and acting when you may not have all the answers. Courageous leadership, and leadership in general, should not be about the intensity of the moment that will eventually fade. It is through this process of consistency that you foster a deep trust and devotion between yourself and those who support you. Simon highlighted that it is your supportive connections that give you the confidence and the encouragement to take courageous leaps of faith. When you know you have the devotion and support of people who will back you up and they trust your decisions, you act and lead in a different way than if you do not have that support, devotion, and trust.
Now imagine you have an entire network of organizations to back you up. You have an entire network of partners that support the mission, is devoted to the goals and stated outcomes of the system, and trusts that the objectives laid out can be successfully achieved. That level of support not only enables the network to become a courageous leader within the community, but also gives each organization the encouragement of their network partners when they need to lean on them. This inspires change, learning, and growth within your organization, your network, and ultimately your community as a whole.
About the Author: Sara Sprong
VP of Strategic Initiatives
Sara helps position VNL and our technology strategically to advance our mission. She was a champion of the roll out and adoption of the PARTNER tool, successfully achieving a customer base in all 50 states and 13 countries. She provides amazing customer service and support while keeping tabs on all the moving parts of the product life cycle. She has deep understanding of the communities who use the products and works tirelessly to coordinate ongoing requests from partners and customers. Sara is an organizational wizard with an expertise in building technology for social impact. Sara is a snowboarder, outdoor enthusiast, and mother to a young growing family.