Thursday, August 26, 2010

Acting Courageously

Last Wednesday we held our second ATHENA Leadership Forum in Chicago - bringing together a great group of established and emerging women leaders. The forum topic was the ATHENA Leadership Model Principle ~ Courageous Acts. Leaders who are courageous speak the truth, test relationships and confront traditional thinking. They "stand up, stand firm and do the right thing". As we shared personal stories, we heard from women who are just beginning their professional careers as well as women who were pioneers in leadership in their profession.

This month we celebrate the courageous acts of women who fought and won for all of us the right to vote just 90 years ago. Women who 'stood up, stood firm and did the right thing'. Women who were courageous at great personal sacrifice.

Martha Mertz, founder of ATHENA International and author of "Becoming ATHENA" states that acting courageously gives us permission to 'own' our acts of courage. As she quoted Mary Anne Radmacher, 'Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, "I'll try again tomorrow".'

There are many stories of courage in today's world and I'd like to hear yours. Will you share a personal experience of courage? A time when you stood up for your beliefs in spite of criticism or opposition? When you confronted traditional thinking or followed your heart?

1 comment:

  1. Dianne:
    It's difficult to think of myself as courageous, but when I left my good-paying corporate position to create my own marketing consulting company, I know I was feeling scared more than courageous. Giving up the bonus, stock options and other perks is really hard, but the rewards of being able to have more flexibility in both where I spend my time and talents (both with my paid work and volunteer board positions) has been a huge reward. And being able to add people to my staff.

    Looking back, it does take courage to start something new, something that the outcome is not certain but you have a dream.