Throughout our Extension careers, most all of us have been introduced to a variety of readings that include lists of the characteristics associated with great leaders. On those lists are such things as humility, trust, and vision. But a recent article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review by Jacqueline Novogratz and Anne Welsh McNulty identifies a less commonly mentioned characteristic that may be more important that any.
"We see moral courage as the single most important attribute that social change leaders can possess. Moral courage is the commitment to act upon one’s values regardless of the difficulty or personal cost. It inspires the conviction to take action with the clarity to remain constant in goals but flexible in method. Moral courage is a mindset that centers the internal conditions needed to make the courageous choice visible and to instill the confidence that it’s possible."
In their article the authors identify several practices for cultivating moral courage within ourselves and others.
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