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How to Act With Courage

Excellence springs from courage, but not everyone chooses to be brave. These financial advisors share how and why they acted with courage, and how it benefited their business. Consider their insights into the nature of courage, and start using it to build your business, too.

Let’s start with a definition. The word “courage” shares a root with the French word coeur, or heart. So when you act with courage, you’re acting from the heart, from your inner instincts.

I define courage as being authentic, acting from your gut. You know when your gut senses danger or trustworthiness during a first meeting with someone. Courageous actions spring from taking to heart what your gut is telling you.

The brain is involved. But there are no decision trees. In fact, your executive center may stifle courage at times. “Courage has need of reason, but it is not reason’s child; it springs from deeper strata,” wrote Herman Hesse.

For instance, if your gut instinct is that a wealthy prospect is going to be extremely difficult to work with, it may be courageous to walk away. It may be good business practice to say, “I’m not interested in moving in that direction at this time.” But that might mean giving up what seems to others to be a blockbuster account. Do you focus on the dollars? Or do you do the courageous thing and listen to your heart and your gut?

Following are six examples of people in the financial services industry who have acted with courage. Perhaps you are facing similar situations.