Anand BhaskarGuest Author

Guts, can it be acquired?

Source | Anand Bhaskar

As a HR business partner to a CEO, I was deeply engrossed in a conversation regarding building leadership capability of a few sr. leaders in the organization. Lots of interesting topics were brought up by the CEO, like this guy is not visionary enough, can be more strategic, on this guy he needs to execute sharper, I want to see more thought leadership etc. etc. On one count, the CEO turned to me and said, I want this leader to develop courage.

Till such time, I seemed like I was on top of the ensuing discussion, but now “develop courage” tripped me a bit.
I turned around and asked, how do you think one can be developed to build courage? It is either there or not there. There are multiple NLP techniques people use to remove fears, caused by different incidents in life. But building something deeply intrinsic as courage tripped me completely.

The CEO with a straight face said, you know what I want this guy to have more guts. He chickens out under pressure, this way you cannot do business. If he has to grow as a leader, he should be bold, courageous, needs to take more risk, stand up and assert his views, push back on his colleagues and me, …. Overall I want this guys to show some courage – come on…, be a man!

I wondered what is courage to do with men or women? Courage is courage…, never mind there is a typical stereotype the CEO may have, so I dismissed the gender comment to focus on “courage” itself.

I am not sure I know, how anyone can be trained or developed to build courage or develop guts. I am curious if there are a few different thoughts out there amongst others, who can share their perspective on this.



Anand BhaskarA professional, an entrepreneur, a humanist & thought leader with 25+ years of Industry experience across varied sectors – Petroleum, FMCG, Financial Services, IT Product and Digital & IT Services. Worked with well respected companies such as BPCL, Unilever, GE, Microsoft & Sapient.Specialties: Executive Coaching, Management & HR Consulting in the area of business & HR strategy, Org design & change, Talent Management and Leadership coaching & development. Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from International Coaching Federation (ICF), USA.

He is currently the Founder & Head of Planet Ganges, a Global Learning & Collaboration Eco-System leveraging “digital” to bring global learners, learning providers, corporates & universities on one platform to collaborate & enable boundary-less learning opportunities for every human on the planet.

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