Summary of Courage Goes to Work

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  • Applicable
  • Engaging
  • Bestseller
  • Well Structured


If your employees are fearful and afraid of change, they need a radical attitude adjustment and a healthy shot of courage before they drag down their colleagues’ morale and undermine productivity at your organization. Author and courage-building consultant Bill Treasurer knows how to administer that medicine. When he was young, Treasurer feared heights. He overcame his fear and became a high-diving champion. Every day for seven years, Treasurer would climb to the top of a 100-foot tower (as tall as a 10-story building). From there, at a speed of more than 50 miles per hour, he’d dive head-first into a 10-foot deep pool. He became the captain of the US High Diving Team. Drawing on this audacious background, Treasurer take an innovative tact: teaching managers how to be brave and how to imbue their workers with courage. In this 10th-anniversary edition of his bestseller on building courage in the workplace, Treasurer jokes that he hopes to enroll his readers in the “Fraternal Order of Courageous Managers.” Sign up here.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why employees need “the three buckets of courage,”
  • How to use the four steps of the “Courage Foundation Model” and
  • Why building employees’ courage is more effective than trying to reduce their fears.

About the Author

Bill Treasurer is the founder and “chief encouragement officer” of Giant Leap Consulting, a courage-building training and consulting firm. His other books include Leaders Open Doors and Courageous Leadership.



Comfort and Fear

Too many employees live in fear, tucked away in their comfort zones. The alternative is working in a “discomfort” zone, the idea of which paralyzes them, although discomfort impels growth. Employees can’t develop professionally or otherwise if they stay locked in their comfort zones. As IBM CEO Ginni Rometty explains, “Growth and comfort don’t coexist.” Focusing on comfort and safety impedes career progress.

Fearful employees are sadly commonplace. They do as little as possible, work with no sense of urgency, flee from challenges and avoid responsibility. They find an excess of comfort in relying on old methods or are “too afraid to do things differently.” Two dynamics run their lives: comfort and fear. These “comfeartable” employees embrace “safety and sameness.” Because fear dominates their lives, these employees set timid goals, share only safe thoughts and make risk-free choices. Their motto is, “Stay safe at all costs.” When they do, your company pays the price.

Step into the Breach

Managers must address the challenge of getting apprehensive...

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