Leadership is far more than holding a position or maintaining the status quo.

As Stephen Ambrose noted in his 1997 book, courageous leaders, like Lewis and Clark, demonstrate Undaunted Courage in the face of unimagined adversity. How do they do that? They lead with purpose, passion, planning, and persistence.

Purpose

Courageous leaders do what matters. They leave the planet a better place. Create a better future. Add value. Stand up for social justice. Make a difference in the lives of others. They pick causes worth fighting for, sometimes worth dying for.

Passion

Courageous leaders give total, all out, 110% dedication to their cause. They demonstrate the self confidence that says, “Yes, we can,” or “We shall overcome.” Without passion, we give up too easily, fall into comfortable routines, and over time forget to press on.

Planning

Courageous leaders prepare well. Lewis and Clark spent 16 months preparing for their expedition all the while collecting materials, assembling and training the crew and perfecting the right equipment. Luck is where opportunity meets preparation and hard work.

Persistence

Courageous leaders press on, solving problem as they come. No plan is perfect. There are always unforeseen obstacles. Persistence. Problem-solving. Figuring it out. Learning on the job. Courageous leaders find a way. Courageous leaders never give up.