Remember the last time you were truly brave? The last time you went against logic and consequence…and won? The last time you put yourself in harms way knowing you would be safe because your instincts of bravery were stronger? Do you remember just by being brave how you became a leader?
When I was at Waimea Bay on the North Shore in Hawaii, I watched seven women bravely face a challenge. The challenge was a single rock that stood about 35 feet above the water. This remnant volcanic outcropping was both unforgiving, slippery, and the initial mount at the base had to be timed with the waves. Waimea is notorious for extremely large waves and strong currents. Even though this was the end of big wave season, these women were very careful at the base.
It was clear there was not an exact plan except the end goal of getting to the top. But with each progressing step, an unmistakable movement with a concise design emerged. At the start, the first woman was the initiator, but with each step, all seven women undoubtedly creating a path to the top that all could follow.
I am sure thousands have done this before, but in this moment these seven women were the lead reminders for all watching on the beach. Reminding each one of us, it is safe to face our fears.
I often talk about being brave, because life is full of choices. Most choices are easy, seductive and convenient. Being brave is daring to go outside your comfort zone, lines of safety and boundaries of security to find a better place within ourselves.
These girls embodied bravery and leadership and like the Hiwatari (see previous blog entry) they reminded me of my own hidden strength. They reminded me that our genetics could survive a thrilling endeavor like their ascent and dive from the rocks. Mostly, I realized we are as vulnerable to the environment as I thought.
Whether you are involved in a business transaction, involved in a sports league or interacting with family members; the challenge is leadership: Finding a path upward based on courage, instinct, insight and knowing, even if it counters prevailing belief systems. In doing so, you become a leader of an evolutionary movement that others can easily follow.