Sometimes, however, when they are grouped with other similarly brave people at work, their courage is overwhelmed by a self-defeating group dynamic. We see this when committees approve new strategy or creative product. Each person points out the greatest danger — and the lack of institutional courage diminishes everyone.
What great marketing and management require is more than the courage of each individual. We need institutional courage. We need others to lever our courage, not halve it.
When courage comes to mind, so does Winston Churchill. He described institutional courage this way:
“Why, you can take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together – what do you get? The sum of their fears.”
Certainly, you don’t think it’s your job to disqualify good ideas. But is that the job you are doing by demonstrating your ability to find the fear in anything?