Be Brave

So now what?

Brené Brown talks about bravery in her research and says this: “While armor is our greatest barrier to being brave, grounded confidence is the heart of daring leadership.”

At this moment, when so many companies are being ultra-cautious, and headlines are flooded with news of that philosophy’s casualties, it’s easier than usual to simply avoid risk and take the path that appears safer. What appears safe is the “armor”provided by following the status quo and its cries of, “Do what’s always been done.” “Avoid unnecessary attention.” “Make the popular choice.” “Don’t upset the bosses.”

The status quo is digging in its heels more deeply than ever, buoyed by its formidable partner, FEAR. But what if you were to ask yourself, “If I had nothing to lose, what would I do?”  

Which is a question we frequently ask ourselves in the “hallways” of Oxygen. Because in a sense, no one can ever be certain about what is yet to come.  We are in decidedly unpredictable times, but, really, when haven’t we been? What we really fear is the unknown.

Brené Brown Photo c/o Kristina Bowman

When has the safe option ever challenged us, built excitement about what is possible, or given us great reward?  When has it ever driven the audacious outcome that we strive for, or provides our business, employees, or boss with what they were asking for? 

What we do know is that the only way to lose everything is by doing nothing. But by looking beyond the status quo for a brave option that breaks the mold, speaks to people’s hearts, and gets them to feel something and do something is the way to win.

And the only way we can accomplish this is with the “grounded confidence” it takes to think differently, creatively, and fearlessly. Nothing truly great has happened without someone, somewhere, deciding to take a risk, even if it is unusual and off the beaten path.

Tad Harmon is the Principal and Chief Creative Strategist for Oxygen, where he leads the Oxygen Experience Studio.