This morning's San Francisco Chronicle featured a story in remembrance of the Jonestown massacres thirty years ago. In the front page article, Congresswoman Jackie Spier recalls her trip to Jonestown with Congressman Leo Ryan . For the past several weeks, the daily financial news has been grimmer and grimmer. Business leaders are faced with rising costs, uncertain revenue projections, and a shortfall of cash and credit.
Guyana gunman pumped Jackie Spears five times with bullets on November 18, 1978, leaving her for dead. Miraculously she survived, recovered, and entered public life. She fell in love, married, had a child, and her beloved husband was killed in a tragic accident while she was pregnant with their second child. She lost everything.
What stood out for me in her account is a quote by Winston Churchill that Congresswoman Jackie Spiers cites at the end of her article. "Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts."
As I think about the business leaders with whom I work, I believe that courage in the face of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) is one of the most important character traits leaders need to cultivate in order to continue through these challenging times. I am witnessing leaders who are frozen with fear, paralyzed, and not sure which direction to turn. This is natural. Courage is cultivated by facing our fears, calmly examining options, and moving forward even when we are afraid. We know that this too will pass. What is important is the choices we make as leaders to get us through this difficult time. What choices are you making?©Copyright Marcia Ruben, Ph.D. Ruben Consulting Group All rights reserved