Summary of Courage

The Backbone of Leadership

Jossey-Bass, more...

Buy the book

Courage book summary
To be a great leader, you need the courage of your ethical convictions, in spite of fear. Brace yourself to be your best.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

5 Innovation

6 Style


Corporate employees and managers should take a stand against unethical behavior, but that requires the courage to live, work and lead in congruence with your highest values. Author Gus Lee offers a "primer" on courage, including how it shapes decision making, how leaders can demonstrate it in their work, and how you and your employees can learn courage, and use it to support each other and to build moral businesses. To illustrate ethical behavior, Lee discusses case histories of individual courage in corporate life. His discussion is sometimes repetitious, and the vignettes are occasionally confusing, since he may refer back to examples he presented many chapters ago. Despite such flaws, these accounts offer key lessons. getAbstract believes that executives and managers can learn about principled action - and can reinforce it among their subordinates - by reading Lee’s book and passing it along.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What courage is;
  • How it affects crucial "points of decision" for organizations and individuals;
  • How to inculcate courageous values in your company and employees; and
  • How to be a courageous leader.


The Test at the Crossroads
Tests of your courage occur at "points of decision" in your life, when institutional crises cross paths with your personal beliefs. For example, if you are an accountant, what do you do if your boss asks you to sign off on an audit you know is incomplete...
Get the key points from this book in less than 10 minutes. Learn more about our products or log in

About the Authors

Gus Lee is the author of China Boy, and an expert on leadership and ethics. He is on the adjunct staff at the Center for Creative Leadership and the U.S. Justice Department. Diane Elliott-Lee is a clinical nurse specialist.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category