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The Courageous Leader by Angela Sebaly

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3The Courage to Take a Stand

We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.1

—Aristotle

Daniel was having a really big year. His once small-town, laid-back business was growing dramatically thanks to one client in particular. The client, although difficult to deal with, was expanding its operations and needed Daniel’s team to help it grow. For Daniel, this meant lots of additional revenue. Over $2 million annually, to be more specific. Everyone on Daniel’s team was excited except for Oscar, who was responsible for dealing directly with the client daily. He didn’t see this as a big win at all but rather more work and frustration for him. One day, when the growth surge was creating pressure for everyone, the client stormed into the office, marched straight to Oscar, pointed a finger at his face, and began berating him. When Oscar tried to leave the room, the client grabbed him by the arm and forced him into a chair, ordering, “You’ll listen to what I have to say!” As the client verbally abused him in the middle of the office, Oscar’s peers watched in silence.

Daniel was stunned and remained silent. Finally, the client finished his tirade and left the office, slamming the door behind him. Everyone on the team looked at Daniel, who didn’t know what to say or do, so he slipped into his office and closed the door, leaving Oscar to lick his wounds alone.

On a pain scale of 1 to 10, I think it’s safe to say Daniel ...

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