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?
-The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz
If fear is the greatest inhibitor of success, it follows that we should seek the opposite of fear in order to guarantee success. Webster’s dictionary describes the opposite of fear as courage.
Sir Winston Churchill proclaimed that, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all others.”
It is not a trait exhibited only by great heroes past and present. Courage is the quality that enables you to face the challenges of the day and overcome obstacles to achievement. Courage enables you to speak up when it would be easier to remain silent, to work when you don’t particularly feel up to it, and to attack your problems until they are solved.
Courage, like leadership, is not a characteristic with which you are born. It is a dynamic trait developed through action and it grows with use. As you develop your courage, you quickly discover talents and abilities that will allow you to accomplish anything.
Just ask the Lion…
“Read what my medal says:
Ain’t it the truth?
Ain’t it the truth?”