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How to Build Backbones, Boost Performance, and Get Results

Bill Treasurer, top courage-building consultant and former professional high-diver (see video above), shares his wisdom on bringing courage to the workplace.

Courage Goes to Work is for every manager who has ever struggled with how to encourage employees to develop and show more backbone. This book helps managers inspire their workers to move out of their comfort zones and harness their fears so they can step up to challenges more readily and embrace company changes more wholeheartedly. When each and every worker goes to work each day with more courage, the capacity of the entire organization to be courageous is enlarged.

The problem is that too many workers are too comfortable, too afraid, or too much of both. Courage Goes to Work helps managers address the problem of workers who are “comfeartable.” Comfeartable workers don’t exert themselves anymore than they have to. They equate “just enough” with good enough, and are satisfied meeting only a minimum standard of performance. Like a sofa loaded down with overstuffed relatives after a holiday dinner, teams of comfeartable workers become lethargic and are heavy with the weight of mediocrity.

This book proposes that a manager’s success, happiness and longevity depend on how he or she deals with comfeartable workers. The antidote to comfeartableness, as this book explains, is courage. When courage goes to work, workers they take on more challenging or complex projects. When courage goes to work people actively seek out tasks that stretched their skills and capabilities. When courage goes to work speak up more frequently, forcefully, and truthfully. When courage goes to work people say “yes” to company changes with more enthusiasm. When courage goes to work people are less risk-averse, less self-conscious, and less apathetic. And when courage goes to work, people do less brownnosing, ass-covering, and complaining. This book is all about helping people bring their courage to work.

Courage Goes to Work offers a way of categorizing courageous acts in “buckets.” These courage buckets are:

• TRY Courage: The courage of "first attempts." This is the courage that is needed when attempting something for the first time, or re-attempting something after a significant failure.

• TRUST Courage: Whereas TRY Courage involves taking action, TRUST Courage involves “letting go.” This is the courage involved when delegating, following someone’s lead, or keeping someone’s confidences.

• TELL Courage: This is the courage of “voice,” and is associated with assertiveness, truth telling, and fessing up when mistakes are made.