Learning to be Brave in our Leadership

As leaders, we’ve all heard some variation of the phrase “well some people are natural-born leaders and others have leadership thrust upon them.” Regardless of how we get there, endless difficulties and hurdles await once we don the hat of leadership.

Noble, a film based on a true story, follows the journey of one woman through a childhood and young adult life riddled with devastation into an unlikely calling in a foreign country.

From a very young age, Christina Noble’s life is filled with hardship. Each stage of her life reigns in a different struggle or painful experience. But each time, she chooses to keep hope, clinging to the belief that, despite the blows she has been dealt, her life was meant to impact someone or something greatly. From the outside, Christina looked like she was destined for failure in anything she tried.

After dreaming about the war-torn country of Vietnam, Christina creates a long-term vision of working in Vietnam to improve the quality of life for orphans and street children. Those around her doubted her capabilities. She was poor. She had no influence and no experience creating solutions for social issues. She had never led any kind of humanitarian movement. Still, Christina abandoned her life in England to start over in Vietnam, driven by a deep passion to cultivate her vision. This time, she was determined to build a life with purpose—one that would make a difference.

Never mind that she was a foreigner trying to shed light on a hushed and ignored issue. She took ownership of the problem and fought her way to the inside, positioning herself effectively to impact change. She had a clear vision of what her calling and destiny was, so she poured all her resources and talents into providing for the street children while building out plans for education and awareness.

Through her perseverance and grit, Christina was able to make a stand in the country while improving the Vietnamese street children’s quality of life. When people told her it was too expensive, she kept campaigning for change. When others said her efforts were just a futile drop in the bucket, she kept her eyes on her vision and continued giving all of herself to help the children.

Authentic leadership is always marked with a healthy dose of risk. Many leaders have great aspirations of accomplishing the impossible and making a tangible, measureable difference in the market, an industry, a country, or even the world. But without being willing to jump in and start pursuing goals half blind, our vision gets shortchanged. Like Christina, sometimes we have to start leading without ever knowing if our vision will yield any change or impact.

Sometimes risk results in great loss, but sometimes it leads to world-changing solutions and answers.

True leaders are those marked with a distinct courage and bravery. They pursue answers to issues that others only dream of solving. They put visions in action while others refuse to jump in, too afraid of the unknown and the risk. They embrace their calling and refuse to give up despite the negativity that may arise around them. They tackle problems and end up with solutions. They leave a legacy of perseverance and passion.

Christina’s campaign for change impacted almost a million lives with basic provisions, education and healthcare. Today the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation continues her work of alleviating child poverty throughout Vietnam and Mongolia all because one woman had the courage to do the “impossible.”

What fears are keeping you from pursuing your goals and your visions?

Noble opens in select U.S. theaters on May 8. Visit thenoblemovie.com for locations and more information.

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