Courage Goes To Work 9781576755013

How to Build Backbones, Boost Performance, and Get Results

Courage Goes To Work

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.

COURAGE GOES TO WORK
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.

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Overview

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.

COURAGE GOES TO WORK
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.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Bill Treasurer



Bill Treasurer is founder and Chief Encourager at Giant Leap Consulting (GLC), a Courage Building company that exists to help people and organizations live more courageously. Bill is the author of Right Risk (Berrett-Koehler, 2003), a book about personal courage that is based on Treasurer's experiences as both an organizational development professional and as a daredevil athlete. The book, which has been published in four languages, received book jacket endorsements from management gurus Dr. Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard. It currently holds a 4.5 star rating (out of 5) on Amazon.com. Bill Treasurer is also the editor of POSITIVELY M.A.D. (Making A Difference). The book is a compilation of stories, from world- renowned experts, that aims to inspire readers to make a difference in their organizations. Gannett newspapers calls it required reading for all employees contemplating putting a co-worker's tie through the shredder -- with the co-worker still attached. Bill's more recent book, Courage Goes to Work , was published in 2008. Bill's insights have been featured in over 100 newspapers, including The WashingtonPost, The NY Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution,Boston Herald, Investor's Business Daily. Bill's articles have also appeared in such magazines as Woman's Day, Business-to-Business, Redbook, Fitness, and The Harvard Management Update. Prior to founding GLC, Bill was an executive in Accenture's change management practice, where he became the $13 billion dollar company's first full-time internal executive coach.Bill is aformer member of the U.S. High Diving Team. For seven years he traveled throughout the world performing with a team of high performing athletes. During that time, Bill did over 1,500 high dives from heights that scaled to over 100 feet...sometimes on fire! Since 1991 Bill has conducted over 500 corporate workshops designed to strengthen people’s leadership skills, improve team performance, accelerate innovation, and help executives behave more courageously. Among others, Bill has led workshops for Accenture, CNN, Earthlink, Equity Office Properties, Starbuck's, GM, GE, The Home Depot, Credit Suisse First Boston, Spanx, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the U.S. Veteran's Administration. Bill holds an MS degree in Administrative Science from the University of Wisconsin, and his 4.0 GPA put him on the National Deans List. He attended West Virginia University on a full athletic scholarship for springboard diving. Bill lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Shannon, and their three children, Bina, Alex, and Ian. These days Bill does a lot less diving, and a lot more diaper-changing. Visit Bill at Giant Leap Consulting ;or the Courage Goes to Work website.

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Foreword by Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX

Introduction: Too Much Comfort, Too Much Fear

Part I Setting a Foundation for Courage
Chapter 1 Look Before You Leap
Chapter 2 Jumping First
Chapter 3 Create Safety Nets
Chapter 4 Harness Fear
Chapter 5 Modulate Comfort

Part II Three Buckets of Courage
Chapter 6 Fillers and Spillers
Chapter 7 TRY Courage
Chapter 8 TRUST Courage
Chapter 9 TELL Courage

Part III Committing to Giant Leaps
Chapter 10 The Courageous Choice
Chapter 11 Courageous Living

Acknowledgments
Index
About the Author
About Giant Leap Consulting
Visit the Courage Goes to Work Web Site

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COURAGE

Introduction
Too Much Comfort, Too Much Fear

Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.

Joseph Addison

We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.

Winston Churchill

“Management sucks. And I’m a manager, so I guess I suck too. Or the people I’m managing suck. Either way, this ain’t fun and I want out.”

It was discouraging to see that Brian’s situation had deteriorated to this point. Only two years earlier, Brian had been fast-tracked into a front-line manager position. His upbeat attitude and make-it-happen work ethic had caught the attention of the company executives, who decided that he’d make a fine addition to their ranks. Yet here he was, ready to jump ship. And he hated himself for it.

“For the first time in my life, I feel like a failure. I couldn’t wait to be made a manager. But now I’m convinced that I’m not cut out for it. I think the only reason I haven’t quit already is because I’m too ashamed, or too competitive, to admit defeat. I hate being a manager.”

I had been coaching Brian for a few months as part of a multiyear leadership program my company had developed for Brian’s employer. The program had been developed for the company’s high-potential leaders, and Brian had been handpicked by his boss to participate. Brian was highly regarded by the senior executives, so it was a bit surprising for me to hear that things had gotten so bad for him. Somehow this “hi-po” manager had been able to conceal his true feelings about the job from his boss and coworkers.

“It surprises me that you don’t think you’re cut out to be a manager, Brian. Is it the work? The pressure? What?” I asked.

“The pressure I can deal with. I was a college athlete and I kind of like pressure. It makes things seem more important and urgent, which gets me going. And the tactical part of the work, for the most part, isn’t hard. You make a plan; you break it down into a set of goals, milestones, and delivery dates; you keep it all organized on a spreadsheet; and then you work the plan.”

“So what’s the crux of it, buddy?” I asked. “From what you just told me, you don’t find management all that hard. What I didn’t hear about was the stuff you hate about managing. What about that?”

Like lava inching its way up through the earth, the frustrations that had gotten Brian to this point began bubbling to the surface. “To me, the hard part about managing, the stuff I hate, is all the people stuff. I hate the fact that no one shows the initiative to take on work outside their own scope. I hate the small way people think, and how the only thing they seem to care about is the itty-bitty task right in front of them. I hate having to continuously remind people about impending deadlines and that no one works with the same urgency or intensity as I do. I hate having to force people to accept changes that the company requires us to make and that are mostly in everyone’s best interests. I hate all the psychoanalyzing that goes into figuring out how to get people to trust me. I also hate not being able to trust that people won’t screw up and make me look bad when I assign important tasks to them. I hate having to confront people about their performance, especially when they think they’re performing way better than they really are. I hate having to pry the truth out of people so that I know about problems before it’s too late to solve them. And I especially hate all the crybaby excuses, finger-pointing, and shitty attitudes that get in the way of doing actual work.”

The little venting moment helped Brian to purge all the surface stuff so that he could get closer to the core of the issue. After a moment his eyes got smaller, as if he’d found a shiny golden nugget while prospecting at the center of hell. He continued, “When it comes right down to it, I hate that people are either too comfortable doing things the way they’ve always done them or too afraid to do things differently.”

Mixing Comfort and Fear

Over the years, I’ve coached a lot of people like Brian. Talented workers who get promoted because of their strong leadership potential, but who quickly grow frustrated with managing people who are slow to change, slow to trust, and slow getting things done. Brian’s golden nugget insight is spot-on: The problem has to do with comfort and fear. Workers who are too comfortable don’t exert themselves any more than they have to. They become satisfied meeting a minimum standard of performance, equating “just enough” with good enough. Like a sofa loaded down with overstuffed relatives after a holiday dinner, teams with workers who are too comfortable become lethargic and heavy with the weight of mediocrity. At the same time, workers who are too fearful play it too safe. Fearful workers set safe goals, say safe things, and make safe choices. Because fearful workers spend far too much energy preserving what is instead of pursuing what could be, their preoccupation with safety ultimately becomes dangerous for the business.

Comfort and fear in smaller doses can be good things. Striving to gain comfort with new skills, for example, is a worthwhile goal. At the same time, fear helps workers to focus on preventing and mitigating risks by keeping them vigilant about small issues that could grow into big problems. But in higher doses, and especially when mixed together, comfort and fear become toxic, creating a situation where workers become what I call “comfeartable.”

Comfeartable workers are those who grow comfortable working in a perpetual state of fear, which only serves to magnify the ill effects of both concepts. Comfeartable workers develop a high tolerance for misery, often staying in jobs they don’t find gratifying or, worse yet, secretly despise. Some comfeartable workers are like impassive zombies, sleepwalking through their jobs with no sense of urgency or commitment. Others include excuse makers, people who choose apathy over action by cooking up all sorts of reasons why they can’t do something instead of just doing it. Comfeartable workers also include people who dump problems in your lap but offer no solutions for solving them. For these workers, going the extra mile just takes too much effort. Instead, comfeartable workers give their deepest fidelity to safety and sameness, even if those things come at the expense of progress. When fused together, comfort and fear adhere to the same law: Stay safe at all costs! No initiative. No risk taking. No candor. No making waves. No more than what is asked. No innovating or extending or leading. And no support for those who do.

This book is for all the managers like Brian out there. Maybe you’re one of them. If you’ve grown frustrated trying to get workers to stretch beyond their comfort zones, if you’re at your wits’ end trying to get workers to step up to their potential, or if you’re tired of having to treat adults like frightened children, this book is for you.

Activating Comfeartable Workers

As a manager, you may be tempted to adopt a scorched-earth campaign and just fire all the Comfeartable workers. But a wholesale firing of such workers would do more harm than good. Comfeartable workers are so prevalent in the workplace that such a strategy would be the managerial equivalent of carpet bombing, potentially eviscerating the organization. A more constructive and practical approach would be to help workers face and overcome their comfeartable ways. The reality is, managing workers who are overly comfortable or fearful is the essence of management. At the core, management is all about transforming and inspiring comfeartable workers. All the other stuff—the planning, goal setting, organizing, and delivering—is just the minimum requirement for entry into the management ranks. The hard stuff, the stuff that will determine your success and longevity as a manager, pertains to how you manage the funky behavioral effects of workers who are too comfortable, too afraid, or too much of both. The bottom line is this: Your success and happiness as a manager depend on how you manage comfeartable workers.

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Your success as a manager will be determined by how well you manage workers who are too comfortable, too afraid, or too much of both.

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My guess is that your company put you in a management position because it thinks you’ve got a lot of promise as an executive. It thinks that in some small way you’ll help move the company forward by advancing the goals you’ve been tasked with. To do that, you’ll need to find new and better ways to get a greater return on your workers’ passion, engagement, and initiative. You’ll need to inspire greater commitment to company changes. You’ll need to learn how to make people less afraid of stepping up to challenges, more willing to trust you and the company, and more apt to speak up candidly and assertively. The good news is, this book is designed to do all those things by promoting the antidote to comfeartable behavior: courage.

Courage is, most often, a behavioral response to a challenge. It is something that has to be activated within us. Courage is called forth by challenge, opportunity, and hardship. It is also called forth by managers, mentors, and coaches who hold us accountable to our own potential by compelling us to achieve higher standards. As a manager, you have a responsibility, indeed an obligation, to activate the courage of those around you. Courage activation is your job.

Three Buckets of Courage

As mentioned, courage involves behavior. Like all behaviors, courage can be developed, encouraged, and reinforced. While a lot of writers have focused on the realms in which courage is applied (for example, moral courage, military courage, and political courage), I think it is more useful to understand the common ways that people behave when being courageous, regardless of which realm they’re operating in. While the realms themselves may have sharp differences, the ways people behave when being courageous within those realms are surprisingly similar.

In my work as a courage-building consultant, I have discovered that there are three ways of behaving when your courage is activated. When you become familiar with the three distinct types of courageous behavior, you gain a deeper understanding of how to tap into, and strengthen, your own courage and the courage of those around you. I call these three different forms of courage the Three Buckets of Courage.

  1. TRY Courage: When managers talk about wanting workers to “step up to the plate,” it is TRY Courage that they are referring to. TRY Courage is the courage of initiative and action. You often see TRY Courage when people make “first attempts”—for example, whenever you see someone attempt new, skill-stretching, or pioneering tasks. Someone who volunteers to lead a tough or risky project is demonstrating TRY Courage.
  2. TRUST Courage: TRUST Courage is the courage that it takes to relinquish control and rely on others. When managers talk of wanting employees to embrace company changes more willingly or to follow directives more enthusiastically, it is more TRUST Courage that they want employees to have. When TRUST Courage is present, people give each other the benefit of the doubt, instead of questioning the motives and intentions of those around them. TRUST Courage isn’t about taking charge (as with TRY Courage), but about following the charge of others.
  3. TELL Courage: TELL Courage is the courage of “voice,” and involves speaking with candor and conviction, especially when the opinions expressed run counter to the group’s. To preserve their safety, workers often agree too much and speak out too little. When TELL Courage is activated, it causes workers to assert themselves more willingly and confidently. You see TELL Courage at work when employees tactfully but truthfully provide tough feedback… even to you, their manager. You also see it when workers raise their hands and ask for help, or when they tell you about mistakes they’ve made before you ask.

The main benefit of using the Three Buckets of Courage as a framework for understanding and categorizing courageous behavior is that it helps make courage, as a concept, more graspable. Courage is a large and vague concept. Using the TRY, TRUST, TELL framework helps bring it down to size. Parsing courage into three behavioral buckets allows us to discriminate the different ways we have been courageous in the past and are capable of being in the future. Think, for example, of the scariest or most uncomfortable moments in your career thus far. Weren’t you trying something new, trusting someone else’s lead, and/or telling the truth about a conviction you were upholding? Now think about the single biggest career goal you have in front of you right now. To achieve your goal, won’t it involve exercising more TRY, TRUST, or TELL Courage (or some combination of all three)? Now think about your comfeartable workers. Wouldn’t having more TRY, TRUST, and TELL Courage help them to move past the debilitating effects of comfort and fear?

The Three Buckets of Courage are explained in greater detail in part 2 of the book. For now, it is enough to know that the best way to get workers to try new things, trust you more fully, and tell you what they’re really thinking is to build up their courage. Consider, for example, what would happen if all your comfeartable workers started putting their courage buckets to work. With more TRY Courage, wouldn’t workers take on more skill-stretching projects? With more TRUST Couiage, wouldn’t they embrace company changes with more enthusiasm and less resistance? If people used more TELL Courage, wouldn’t they speak up more frequently and truthfully? And by using all three types of courage, wouldn’t workers be less risk averse, less self-conscious, and less apathetic? Wouldn’t having more courage also result in less brown-nosing, ass covering, and shitty attitudes? Most important, with more TRY, TRUST, and TELL Courage, wouldn’t workers stop being so comfortably afraid?

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This book is about the actions that you and your workers can take to be more courageous, and what you can do to foster more courageous behavior at work.

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When Courage Goes to Work

The payoff for helping your workers to become more courageous, the ultimate aim of this book, is that it makes your job easier and more rewarding. So what does it look like when courage goes to work? You see courage working when people trust your decisions instead of silently resisting your every move. Courage is working when employees raise the red flag on projects that are going south instead of hiding issues until they fester into full-blown catastrophes. Courage is working when employees come to you with remedies to problems they are facing, instead of dumping problems in your lap. You see courage working when people are candid and engaged during status meetings, instead of politely nodding their heads “yes” every time you talk. You see courage working whenever you see people trying things outside their skill sets, or deliberately seeking out leadership opportunities, or offering ideas for expanding the team’s reach. When courage goes to work, you see engagement, and passion, and motivation, and commitment. You also see shaking knees and hear shaky voices. Stepping into one’s courage, for most workers, is a scary and uncomfortable thing. Being courageous requires encouragement—from the company, from each other, and from you.

Part of your job is to be a manager. But an equally important part of your job is to be an encourager—to put courage inside people. When you fill up people’s buckets with courage—when you encourage them—they place less of a premium on comfort and begin to purposely seek out skill-stretching challenges. With full buckets of courage, they come to value the energy that fear provides as a necessary fuel for doing uncomfortable things. When people are full of courage, they’re much more likely to TRY new things, TRUST you more fully, and TELL the truth more candidly. As I explain in chapter 6, the more courage you fill people with, the less comfeartable workers will be.

The Consequences of Courage

As one of the world’s only courage-building consultants, I am an unabashed and vocal advocate for bringing more courage to the workplace. But I readily admit that behaving courageously often comes with unintended consequences. While it is true that people can find their courage when facing challenging and dangerous situations, it is equally true that behaving courageously can bring new challenges and dangers of its own. Workers can get fired for making mistakes, blindly following errant directives, or disagreeing too vocally, regardless of how sincere their intentions for doing so are. But those rare instances shouldn’t overshadow the fact that, on balance, people who act courageously at work are more successful than those who don’t.

The purpose of this book isn’t to cause you to fearlessly swagger into your boss’s office, kick your boots up on her desk, and start rattling off all the reasons why she and the company need to change. Courage for courage’s sake is at best gratuitous. To be productive and beneficial, courage needs direction and discipline. This book is about providing you with the tips, tools, and techniques that will help you to find the courage that’s inside you and apply it in ways that strengthen your career.

The Groundwork

Before diving in, it might help you to know how the book is organized. Part 1, consisting of the first five chapters, reinforces the importance and value of putting courage to work. Chapter 1 introduces a model that will help you to build a foundation that encourages courageous behavior. In chapter 2, you’ll learn how Jumping First (that is, being a good role model of courageous behavior) strengthens the courage of those around you. Chapter 3 shows you how to construct safety nets in order to support people as they take on more challenging things. Chapter 4 discusses ways to harness fear as a useful, productive, and even energizing managerial tool. Chapter 5 provides tips for helping workers to modulate between comfort and discomfort.

Part 2 of the book dimensionalizes the Three Buckets of Courage concept. Chapter 6 offers ideas for putting the buckets concept to work. Distinctions are also made between two types of management dispositions: Fillers and Spillers. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 illustrate, through real-life stories and client examples, the Three Buckets of Courage. Chapter 7 covers TRY Courage, chapter 8 reviews TRUST Courage, and chapter 9 discusses TELL Courage.

Part 3, comprising chapters 10 and 11, starts by providing you with two contrasting views of the same workplace— one directed by fear, the other infused with courage—so that you can make an informed choice about the management approach you will use going forward. The contrasting views, as well as other rationales for putting courage to work, are presented in chapter 10. Finally, chapter 11 looks at courage in broader terms, so that you can take courage home with you after a long day at the office.

All the stories you’ll read about in the book involve real people facing real challenges. Some people met their challenges with courage; others did not. In most instances I was at liberty to share both the names of the people in the stories and the names of the companies they work for. In some instances, however, either to preserve client confidences or to prevent people from embarrassment, I have changed their names. As a general rule, when both their first and last names are included in the story, it is their actual name. When only their first name is referred to, the name is fictitious.

The Bottom Line on the Top Virtue

Aristotle called courage the first virtue because it makes all the other virtues possible. If that is true, then courage is also the first virtue of business. Courage, after all, is the lifeblood of leadership, entrepreneurialism, and innovation. In fact, courage is so critical to these things that they can’t exist without it.

While courage may be the premier business virtue, in many workplaces it is desperately lacking. Workers are either too comfortable to change or too afraid to try new things. Or, as explained in this introduction, they are both comfortable and fearful at the same time. When workers’ actions are directed by comfort and fear, underperformance will always be the result. As a manager, you need to be keenly aware of the dangers that comfort and fear present, and equipped with strategies for mitigating them.

In the coming pages, you will be provided with strategies and tips for influencing workers to be more courageous. Doing so will help them gain the necessary confidence to take on more difficult projects, assume leadership roles more readily, embrace company changes with more enthusiasm, and extend themselves in ways that will benefit their careers and your team. The bottom line is this: Putting courage to work will cause your workers to stop being so comfeartable, and help you to be a better, more effective, and happier manager.

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The Five Promises of Workforce Courage

There are five premises upon which this book was written. But they are more than premises; they are promises. I call them the five promises of workforce courage, and this book aims to champion and uphold them. They are as follows:

  1. Everyone has the capacity to be courageous.
  2. Employees perform better when they are working courageously.
  3. Courage is a learnable and teachable skill.
  4. The key to putting courage to work is the regimen of things you regularly do before challenging situations present themselves.
  5. The entire workforce benefits when everyone is showing up to work with more courage.

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Endorsements



Bill Treasurer gives any aspiring leader a practical guide on how to develop the courage that is needed to make an organization a winner. He teaches us that those “sweaty palms” moments are, in fact, required to get outside of one’s “comfort zone” and doing that is necessary for personal growth. Courage Goes to Work gives us the conviction that ordinary individuals can achieve extraordinary results.

—Joe Forehand, retired chairman and CEO, Accenture

Fear and doubt are the two greatest enemies of high performance in the workplace. This powerful book shows you how to instill more and more courage and confidence in every person, releasing personal potential you didn’t know you had available.

—Brian Tracy, author, The Power of Self-Discipline

Great companies have bold strategies. But bold strategies have to be implemented by courageous people. Courage Goes to Work offers valuable ideas for boosting workforce performance by building people’s courage. This is top-shelf management reading with bottom-line implications.

—Tom Bell, chief strategy officer, First Data

I loved Bill’s first book, Right Risk, and I love Courage Goes to Work even more. Bill’s unique life experiences, along with his gritty business knowledge, make a powerful combination. The result is a book that will transform the way you think about courage, and the way you manage your people, too.

—Sharon Jordan-Evans, executive coach, keynote presenter, coauthor, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay

This book is truly awesome! Bill Treasurer has stolen courage from the gods and brought it to the workplace, where it is desperately needed. Everyone in a leadership role should put this book on their must-read list. After reading it, you may find the courage to buy a copy for your boss!!

—Chip Bell, author of Customer Loyalty Guaranteed

There are few business books that can truly be called transformative, and Courage Goes to Work is one of them. It offers tangible ideas for helping workers have more initiative, confidence, and backbone. If your employees could use more of those things, then this book is for you.

—David Baruch, CIO, Hewitt Associates


Courage is the first and most important component of success in business. Without it, there is nothing more than mediocrity and boredom. Bill Treasurer captures this awareness in his book and instructs us in making sure we're not overlooking that important aspect of fulfillment and success in our working life.

—David Ryback, co-author, Psychology of Champions

Bill Treasurer is like a modern day Wizard of Oz who helps to make us more courageous, not just at work, but in life. Instead of giving us medals to remind us not to be afraid, he offers buckets of specific tools that show us how to tap into our inner courage whenever and wherever we need it. This will be one of the most dog-eared books on my shelf. And it will hold a place of honor right next to his other gem, Right Risk.

—Marilynn T. Mobley, Senior Vice President and Strategic Counsel, Edelman & Associates

You will not find a more clear voice on courage than Bill Treasurer’s … Let him guide you to the heights where your life and work become extraordinary—because you understand your fear and that of others, and bring out the courage in each.

—Ira Chaleff, author, The Courageous Follower: Standing Up To and For Our Leaders

Courage is good for any industry. But when you work in the wicked world of drug law enforcement the stakes are even higher. In my field, an agent at any level from those working the street to senior executives, an absence of courage can cost lives. It is great news that it turns out that courage can be taught – thanks to Bill Treasurer.

—June W. Rodgers, retired special agent in charge, New England Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration

Courage Goes to Work is a must-read for anyone who needs to show up with strength at work every single day. This is an inspiring book about how we can all be a little more brave, authentic and effective in our professional and personal lives. I was personally inspired by the message and will be recommending this book to everyone I know.

—Brendon Burchard, author, Life's Golden Ticket

Whenever I'm feeling a bit chicken, I need only pick up Bill's new book, Courage Goes To Work, and my own courage starts to rally. By the time I'm finished reading, I'm feeling like an eagle -- ready to fly high and take on any challenge!

—BJ Gallagher, coauthor, A Peacock in the Land of Penguins


Bill Treasurer is a remarkable guy. He’s lived courageously in business (first as a professional daredevil in theme parks; then, as a business owner and speaker) and in his personal life (caring for his daughter with special needs; then, battling his own cancer).

In ‘Courage Goes to Work,’ Bill reveals the strategies he’s used to do the things he’s needed to do, in spite of uncertainty or fear. What's more, he gives readers the instruction they need to take on intimidating yet meaningful situations in the world of work. Bill’s book is as inspiring as it is practical.

—Mark Levy, founder of Levy Innovation: A Marketing Strategy Firm, and author, Accidental Genius: Revolutionize Your Thinking Through Private Writing

Finally a practical and inspiring book about the virtue that is perhaps most needed yet most lacking in the world today -- courage. If you ever wish that you could overcome your apprehensions and fears so that you could more fully reach your potential and dreams, a good place to start is to read this book.

—Charles C. Manz, author, The Power of Failure, The Leadership Wisdom of Jesus, The Virtuous Organization, and Nice Guys Can Get the Corner Office

Thank you Bill for taking the time to give us another lesson in how to get what you want. In “Courage Goes to Work” Bill Treasurer takes a mysterious and complex subject that touches everyone and breaks in into bite size, manageable, chunks. Looking at the small pieces enables you to take care of the critical task we all face – moving toward what we have feared and avoided in the past. Buy this book today and take action tomorrow!

—Stewart Levine, Resolutionary and author, Getting to Resolution, The Book of Agreement and co-author Collaboration 2.0


How do you motivate people are too comfortable or too afraid? In Courage Goes to Work, Bill Treasurer provides practical answers to this question. He points out that to instill courage is to encourage and wants you, as a manager, to become a chief encourager. Drawing on his experience as a seasoned business consultant and stunt diver he will show you how. This book should be on every managers bookshelf.

—Cindy Ventrice, author, Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works

Bill Treasurer does more than define and describe and entertain. He shows you how. His work is not theory and inspiration—it is theory and application and inspiration and that is what makes his thinking so useful and needed. Most managers and leaders I know want to make a difference and they don’t see that courage, more than thought alone, is the key to making a lasting difference. Courage Goes to Work is an indispensable guide for the day-today courage that makes workplaces, leaders, all of us, better.

—John Schuster, author, Answering Your Call.

To live and work in a world of accelerated change requires individual courage. Bill Treasurer captures the essence of courage in his newest book, Courage Goes to Work. He takes an attribute that others might think is ethereal and makes it concrete. He illustrates how anyone can access their courage and how others can create an environment where courageous behavior can flourish. With an abundance of courage individual and organizational greatness can be achieved!

—Leslie Yerkes, President, Catalyst Consulting Group, Inc., author, Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work

Courage Goes to Work is an insightful call to summoning courage in self and courage in others. This is a very insightful guide, blending Treasurer’s expertise in areas of risk and courage and harnessing their impact for increased results, performance and effectiveness.

—Harry E. Chambers, author, My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide

Courage is a mirror. It is self-defined. It is self-imposed. Bill offers a challenge to the concept of improbable. He transforms off-limits into a provocative possibility for stepping out of our way and into our leadership.

—Steven H. Cady, Graduate Professor, Director, The Institute for Organizational Effectiveness Bowling Green State University, coauthor, The Change Handbook

Most of us take our minds to work but leave courage at the door. In this compelling book, Bill Treasurer provides three nourishing lunch buckets to take to work everyday, try courage, trust courage, and tell courage. In doing so, you’ll have all you need to be a better person and a better leader.

—Dick Axelrod, author, Terms of Engagement: Changing the Way We Change Organizations

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