Continuing with my list of leadership mistakes, it times to look into the eyes of a lion.

One of my favorite characters in the old movies is a lion. The one that hung out with a girl, a scarecrow, and a tin man. He shares much wisdom when it comes to the subject of leadership. Many would think that he was a terrible leader however I see him differently.

I remember when I watched the movie the first time, sitting on the floor while my mother was in the kitchen. I want you to know that I was scared, “The wizard of oz” is a scary movie. There are witches, flying monkeys and crazy little people. It still gives me nightmares just thinking about it.

But, just think about it for a moment he had all of the right stuff to be a leader. He has the size, the heart and also the courage. Oh yea, that was the problem. Well, he had the hair, the reputation, and the roar, but take a look at what he had to say.

“Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got? Courage!”

Even the lion realized that courage was something that you need when it comes to leadership, fear is not part of the leadership package. A leader needs courage, and he had some strange thought that he did not have it.

When a leader has courage, they instill it in their team. During uncertain times, a leader that has composure and remains calm provides his team a vital characteristic. However, when they show fear they project a loss of focus and a sign of panic.

What I learned from that lion is simple. The courage he needed was always there. The challenge for all of us is simple, just look at the words of the wizard, and remember that courage can also be defined as confidence in yourself and most importantly, your team.

“You have plenty of courage; I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”