5 Essentials to Leading Hesitant & Courageous Employees

Courageous Employees: Essentials to Leading the Hesitant & Courageous

Leaders and managers, do you have some courageous employees and others who are more hesitant? What troubles arise when they try to collaborate and innovate? What if the employees are more courageous than you?



Courageous Employees: Image is a big ferris wheel.

Courageous Employees: Essentials to Leading & Managing Them

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5 Essentials to Leading Hesitant & Courageous Employees

Courageous employees tend to be natural change agents. They question the rules. Their solutions to problems push the limits. They innovate and stretch the boundaries. They are naturally engaged at work. However …



If leaders do nothing to address this, courageous employees often leave to work for startups, companies with high performance teams, innovative enterprises, or start their own businesses. Meanwhile, leaders and managers continue to work on inspiring courage in employees!

As the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for, you may get it. If you inspire courage, you have to lead and manage courageous employees.



Leaders and managers, here’s how …

  1. Develop your self-awareness. How comfortable are you with change? Write down some recent examples where courageous employees made you feel uncomfortable. Why? Note all the reasons.

  2. Define what you think is a change agent and what is a loose cannon? There’s a difference and it is essential to distinguish one from the other. Compare what you have written here to your self-awareness notes in step #1. How do they compare? If the business needs change and innovation, address your own fears of courageous employees and change.

  3. Now engage employees in this discussion. Beyond the basic vision you have, what key issues and questions about courage do they raise? This will uncover contradictions between your vision and your actions. It will also highlight interaction struggles between hesitant and courageous employees. This openness is essential to collaboration, innovation, and change.

  4. Clear the fog of misinterpretation. Courageous employees may mislabel step-by-step thinking as change resistance. Hesitant employees may label the change agent’s zeal as dominating and even pushy. Have everyone use examples of how words and behaviors come across. From there, they can adapt to each other for collaboration and change.

  5. Empower everyone to raise the essential change challenge. When collaboration gets stuck, everyone must be ready to ask: Are we resisting change OR are we actually working through details to move forward? This essential question replaces the frustration of getting stuck with communication, understanding, and action.


Above all, leaders and managers, remember that courageous employees don’t automatically lead others out of change resistance. They can have a positive influence. Yet, I’ve also witnessed stalemates that demoralized everyone and drove courageous employees out of the company. I’ve heard hesitant team members say to courageous employees, “We’re not strong like you.”


Replace these stalemates with vision and communication. Have everyone discuss what courage in your workplace is, how to develop it, and how to manage it!



What other team challenges arise from different levels of courage?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Are You a Maverick or a Courageous Change Agent?
5 Essentials to Building 21st Century Teams

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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