Episode 1

Published on:

7th Apr 2020

Courageous leadership

Courageous leaders: more than a roaring lion.

 There are many definitions of courage. One of my favorite definitions is that courage is shown by the way we behave when things get tough. 

 How we show up in tough times indicates a level of being authentic, being true to ourselves – so that when we are faced with the many challenges of our lives, how we behave is consistent.  This definition then it leads me to believe that everyone has the capacity to be courageous.

Three elements about courage:  


 “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you cannot choose both.” Brené Brown

 To begin to choose courage we must be honest within ourselves about the things we are fearful of. The lie we often believe is that we have to completely change who we are in order to be fearless leaders.   

Common fears that leaders dance with every day are:

·        Criticism

“Leadership—all leadership—is a magnet for pain, which comes in many forms. We catch flak for bad decisions because people blame us, and we get criticism even for good decisions because we’ve changed the beloved status quo.” Samuel Chand

·        Failure

“Failure is a necessary consequence in doing something new” Ed Catmull

·        Speaking

“The idea of making a presentation in public is the No. 1 fear reported by people in the U.S.   If speaking in public scares you, you aren't alone. It is even scarier than rattlesnakes,"   Paul L. Witt, PhD


·        To be qualified …

·        to engage in meaningful relationships where trust is built so that courage becomes a partnership with great people and great teams


 Lives defined by courageous leaders:

·        They are human beings, flawed and fearful just like you and me

·        There isn’t just one life- changing moment that defines them

·        They consistently represent who they are authentically, in both the good and the bad times.

Seek the opportunity to add the skills and relationships that will help you in your journey of courage.


 Brené Brown, B. (2019). The Call to Courage. Netflix Documentary

Godin, S. (May 3, 2016). How to Overcome the Fear of Failure. Retrieved from


Samuel Chand, S. (2015). Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth. Nashville: Thomas Nelson. p.323

Domingo, J. June 8, 2018. Canadian Startup News. Retrieved from https://betakit.com/pixar-ceo-ed-    catmull-says-failure-is-a-necessary-consequence-of-innovation-at-true-north/

Denoon, D. Fear of Public Speaking Hardwired, retrieved from

https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-   panic/news/20060420/fear-public-speaking#1  

Gandhi, M.K. (1949). An Autobiography: The Story of my Experiments with Truth. Ahmedabad: Navajivan

Publishing House.

Haze, S., Bardis, J., Bardis, J., Shay, E., Behnken, L., Mulli, C., Mully, E. (2017). Mully. Passion River Films. 

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About the Podcast

The Art of Leadership
The Art of Leadership focuses on soft skills... some of the hardest skills a leader will ever learn.
The Art of Leadership with Dr. Niña Ellison focuses on the soft skills of leadership, their value and the power of their influence. As a leader, if you are interested in moving from success to significance then balancing both hard and soft skills is essential!

Hard skills are demonstrated through technical expertise that results in clearly measured goals being reached. They are vital to the success of any initiative or program. On the other hand, soft skills emphasize the transformation of people. They highlight behavioral changes and making a difference in people’s lives.

This podcast is for leaders who are seeking a fresh perspective into some of the hardest soft skills a leader will ever learn. You can connect with Niña at https://www.ninaellison.com

About your host

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Niña Ellison

In 2019, after years of leading teams varying from international disaster relief and healthcare to the US Corporate world, Niña founded Healthy Leadership to focus on her passion for partnering with leaders in their growth and sustainability. Her own journey into soft skill development has convinced her that while her technical skills helped her get her foot in the door, her soft skills moved the influence of her leadership from success to significance.

As a soft skill specialist Niña takes monthly deep dives in her podcast series, The Art of Leadership, to explore the underlying dimensions of soft skills. She knows that soft skill development is not so much about WHAT but HOW a leader leads.
• From a 10,000 foot view a leader pursuing soft skills asks, “How do I problem solve; How do I manage time and energy?”
• From a 1,000-foot view that same leader, as they dig deeper into soft skills, begins asking questions like, “How do I listen; or How do gain self-control?”
• From Ground Zero the leader recognizes that there are underlying dimensions of soft skills as they ask, “How do I model respect for all; How do I sustain hope; How do I demonstrate appropriate love in the workplace; How do I maintain the right attitude?” How do I lead by serving?

Nina believes that behind every wildly effective and sustainable system and process are leaders and teams who have interwoven soft skills into every phase of their work.