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A Brave® Approach To Leadership

Cindy Benning is passionate about elevating the quality of leadership in our world. She founded Dragonfly Insights, a company dedicated to empowering leaders through coaching and teaching five BRAVE® virtues designed to propel organizations into excellence.

 
Executive Contributor Cindy Benning

In today's rapidly changing business world, being a leader is about more than just implementing the right strategies or technologies; it's about fostering a culture where teams exhibit behaviours that drive success. The BRAVE approach—Benevolence, Respect, Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Emotional Consciousness—has proven to be a highly effective framework. By adopting these behaviours, leaders cannot only achieve excellence but also create a lasting impact that resonates with their teams, leading to increased productivity, innovation, and satisfaction.


BRAVE illustration

Benevolence: Elevating kindness to action

Benevolence goes beyond simple kindness; it involves a deep commitment to the well-being and success of others and the collective good. For leaders, this means creating an environment where teamwork, collaboration, and mutual support are not just encouraged but are the norm. When team members genuinely care about each other's success and well-being, they are more likely to go the extra mile, share knowledge freely, and offer help without hesitation. This spirit of benevolence not only enhances productivity and efficiency naturally but also builds a strong, cohesive team that can tackle challenges together and achieve extraordinary results. By prioritizing the team's best interests and fostering a culture of genuine care, leaders can inspire their teams to reach new heights of performance and satisfaction.


Respect: Honoring diversity in thought and background

Respect is the foundation of any successful team. It means recognizing and valuing each other’s differences, whether in thoughts, perspectives, or backgrounds. As leaders, fostering an environment of respect involves actively listening to every voice and appreciating each team member's unique contributions. In a culture rooted in respect, diversity is not just tolerated but celebrated, creating a dynamic where innovative ideas can flourish. When team members feel respected, they are more engaged and willing to share their insights, leading to more robust decision-making and creative solutions. By prioritizing respect, leaders can build a team that thrives on collaboration, trust, and mutual understanding, driving the organization forward with a unified and inclusive approach.


Authenticity: Aligning actions with values

Authenticity is about genuinely living out your values and beliefs in your actions and words. For leaders, this means being true to yourself and transparent in your communications and decisions. When you lead with authenticity, you create an environment where team members feel safe to be themselves, fostering trust and enhancing collaboration. Authenticity in leadership encourages a culture of openness and accountability, where everyone is encouraged to share their true thoughts and ideas. This not only strengthens team cohesion but also drives continuous improvement as people feel more connected and committed to the collective mission. By embodying authenticity, leaders set the tone for a workplace where integrity and sincerity lead to meaningful and lasting success.


Vulnerability: Embracing light and dark

Vulnerability is about being open and honest about our strengths and weaknesses. For leaders, it means sharing your experiences, both the successes and the failures, to promote collective learning and growth. In a courageous and supportive environment, team members feel safe to admit mistakes, seek help when needed, and take calculated risks. When leaders embrace vulnerability, they create a culture of resilience and continuous learning, where setbacks are viewed as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles. This openness builds stronger, more trusting relationships within the team and encourages everyone to push their boundaries and innovate without fear of judgment. By leading with vulnerability, you show your team that it's okay to be imperfect, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute their best.


Emotional consciousness: Understanding the impact of emotions

Emotional consciousness is about recognizing the thoughts that drive our emotions and understanding their impact on ourselves and those around us. For leaders, this means developing self-awareness and empathy, allowing you to connect with your team on a deeper level. By being emotionally conscious, you can better manage your own reactions and support your team through challenges. When team members are emotionally intelligent, they can handle conflicts constructively, manage stress more effectively, and build relationships rooted in trust and mutual respect. This emotional awareness fosters a healthier, more cohesive work environment where everyone feels understood and valued, ultimately driving better collaboration and performance. By leading with emotional consciousness, you create a space where open communication and genuine connections thrive, empowering your team to achieve their best together.


Conclusion: The path to excellence

In conclusion, the BRAVE approach—Benevolence, Respect, Authenticity, Vulnerability, and Emotional Consciousness—offers a powerful framework for leadership in today's dynamic business landscape. By embracing these behaviours, leaders can cultivate a culture where teams are not only more productive and efficient but also more connected and resilient. Benevolence encourages a supportive environment, Respect celebrates diversity, Authenticity fosters trust and openness, Vulnerability promotes collective growth, and Emotional Consciousness enhances empathy and understanding. Together, these principles drive continuous improvement and innovation, creating a lasting impact on both the team and the organization. As leaders, committing to the BRAVE approach empowers you to inspire excellence and build a foundation for sustainable success.


 

Cindy Benning, Leadership Development Consultant

Cindy Benning has a unique ability to turn chaos into calm. Her extensive career, characterized by continuous education, leadership, and coaching, has equipped her with robust strategies to navigate myriad challenges professionally and personally. Her 2022 publication, "Being BRAVE®, A Journey of Self-Discovery into Leadership," tells the story of how she came to develop insights into managing the stories we tell ourselves to reveal our true selves. Only then can we learn to lead and live with joy and authenticity.

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