"The Courage Solution" is a brief overview of courage from the inside out. Instead of trying to force you to stick to a fixed set of principles, this 4-part book takes you on a journey through the four essential relationships that impact your courage. Using experience from a background in human resources, counseling, and management, the author helps readers identify the tools they need to refine and hone their workplace courage.
Courage isn’t a one-time feature of business (or really any part of life); yet we often tell stories like it is. We tell the story of the “garage entrepreneur” who gathers the courage to start the business or the employee who asks their boss for a raise.
The Courage Solution: The Power of Truth Telling with Your Boss, Peers, and Team covers all the other business situations that you might run into which require you to dig into your courage.
What is The Courage Solution About?
The Courage Solution takes the approach that courage stems understanding and leveraging relationships. Specifically, the book focuses on four essential workplace relationships: yourself, partners, colleagues, and team. A lack of courage most often means a lack of confidence. We feel disempowered because we feel that we lack something.
A lack of confidence occurs when there is a gap in one of those relationships. If we don’t feed these relationships, we end up with:
- Employees who are afraid to give criticism on important projects or important issues,
- Supervisors who give incomplete feedback to employees,
- Sales people who don’t reach out to potential customers.
All of these situations are problems of confidence, on either end of the spectrum (arrogance or lack of confidence). The problem is that most people try to fix their “confidence” without really addressing the relationships that require that confidence.
Think about it for a moment. Do you have the same level of confidence in every situation or relationship that you encounter?
So, why do you try to fix your confidence by applying the same fixed principles to every situation?
You can ask a family member or trusted friend for $20, but asking a complete stranger or coworker is different. It requires a different kind of confidence. That confidence comes from understanding your relationship, the situation and yourself. In addressing those core issues (relationship, situation, yourself), you can put yourself in situations where you can be courageous.
Author Mindy Mackenzie is a speaker, consultant, and founder of MM Enterprises, a management consulting agency. Mackenzie has a very interesting academic and professional background. She has an undergraduate degree in theology and a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her work experience includes work at Walmart and Campbell Soup Company.
What Was Best About The Courage Solution?
The best parts of The Courage Solution are the book’s tools (especially the Personal Declaration Worksheet) and Mackenzie’s personable language throughout the book. The book is filled with down-to-Earth language and concrete examples, especially from the author’s own life as a divorced mother raising children while trying to build a career. This approach will appeal especially to readers who are in the same circumstances.
What Could Have Been Done Differently
The Courage Solution does a great job of showing readers where they need to focus and prioritize to build their confidence, but more in-depth situations from a variety of sources could provide more depth. The book focuses a lot on the author’s own personal journey with a few diversions, but could focus on some “meatier” issues like maintaining confidence in workplace situations that aren’t so cut and dry.
Why Read The Courage Solution?
The Courage Solution is your ticket to positive workplace communication when you need that extra push. The book does an excellent job of showing how your ability to be courageous depends upon your relationships. To grow in workplace courage, take care to work at your own personal development an your relationships in your workplace or business.
Mackenzie comes from a different background than most writers on the topic, bringing a much-needed voice to the “courage” discussion. Her approach will definitely resonate with working women who want to leverage their personal courage in their professional relationships.
Regardless of the reader; however, this book will help anyone prioritize the relationships necessary to inspire the courage to excel.
Charles: Do you about companies that have used this book at their workplaces?
Not yet, but I would be interested to find out.