Courage is Not Just a Word

11 11 2015
Courage has nothing to do with sales.

Courage has nothing to do with sales.

Today is Veteran’s Day. My dad is a Veteran. My brother-in-law is a veteran. I am a college graduate with a gap in my perspective because I haven’t put in the time and sacrifice that so many men and women have. It’s the truth and I am not going to make an excuse about it.

It was never in my trajectory to join the armed services and I am not sure I would in hindsight. However, having grown up with a very strong sense of country, thanks to my parents, I have always felt as there was more I can do. 

There is an act-out (this is a comedy term for “acting out” part of a comedy set, for example) that I have been working on based on a true experience. Thanks to my incredible acting skills, I am hoping it will be hilarious (he says sarcastically) but it was based on a very unfunny experience, in my book.

Here is the short Cliff Notes version – I was at a pretty high-level training course a few years ago and one of the women presenting to those in attendance was talking about how “hard” it is to build the right type of sales and marketing teams. After a very pregnant and deliberate pause, she looked at all of us intently and said “it takes real courage” to do that.

It took every fiber of my body to bite my tongue or not get up out of my seat. While the majority of the room was complimenting her on what a great leader she was, I was very frustrated by her use of the word “courage”. Let me be perfectly clear – building sales and marketing teams doesn’t take courage; it takes doing your job. Period. I hear words like “courage”, “fearlessness” and “perseverance” thrown out in contexts that have nothing to do with the foundations of these concepts – all the time. I may be overthinking it but don’t we suffer from a society today that doesn’t really keep ourselves honest anymore? It seems like it.

There has been a lot of debate recently about this word, “courage”. The most recent example that comes to mind is with respect to Catlyn Jenner and awards for courage that she has received. We all have our own opinions on this. In my opinion, what she did did take courage. I am not saying she may not be “milking it” for her cause but let’s be real, you have to feel pretty tormented to make the decision to become who you truly think you are.

There are different types of courage but can we hold each other accountable so we don’t minimize the true courage and sacrifice that people make in the battlefield, in the cancer ward, in the living room trying to raise a special-needs child, and in identifying with a certain race, gender or creed, especially based on where you may happen to live?

We all have in us moments when it takes courage to live – the life we are meant to or the life we are given and didn’t plan to. Sometimes, it is the courage to live a combination of the both. To me, it is ignorant to throw that word around as if it is just any other word.

What do you think?

Until next time,

Marc








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