The Key to Being a Brave Leader

Are you immersing yourself in your fears?

Summary
Transcript

Commander Rorke Denver, U.S. Navy SEAL and founder of Ever Onward, explains why leaders can’t be brave until they learn how to face and own their fears.

“The thing that's neat about fear and bravery is they're dependent on each other. They don't exist without each other,” shares Rorke. “To find those brave moments… immerse yourself in that which you fear. Grab it by the neck and say, ‘Hey, I'm not going to be scared of you. I'm going to advance when everything in me tells me to recede.’”

Watch the video to hear more from Rorke about how to manage fear in your pursuit of becoming a brave leader.

When I think about this term, when I think about bravery, one of things I learned instructing SEALs, teaching SEALs, is that sometimes to get to here you've got to kind of attack the opposite of what you're trying to achieve. Right? So bravery, I love this concept, but it seems like bravery is something that we exhibit. But there's something else. The kind of counterpoint to bravery that is something we experience, and it strikes me it's easier to attack that and talk about that to get to bravery, and in my mind the counterpoint to bravery is fear.

Fear, and we all experience this, right? Everyone has fear. I mean, there's the universal fears, like talking in public, singing karaoke, snakes… if you're not scared of snakes there's something wrong with you. But we all have these fears, but whatever your fear is, that's yours and so you need to kind of deal with that. And that's the beautiful thing because it's very, very hard to say, "Hey, this is how you attack this specific thing," but there's universal truths.

The thing that's neat about fear and bravery is they're dependent on each other, right? They don't exist without each other. I don't think you can have brave moments without fear or without some level of trepidation. Nobody ever cheered for somebody sitting on their couch eating Cheetos and watching reruns, right? It's just not a spot where you're going to find bravery.

It doesn't mean you need to charge a gun nest somewhere to be a brave person. It's whatever it is for you, whatever brings you fear or hesitation. But here's the deal. The response to fear, to find those brave moments, is very simple. It's very simple. It's hard to do but it's very simple, and it is to face it. It's to face it. It's to immerse yourself in that which you fear. It's to kind of grab it by the neck and say, "Hey, I'm not going to be scared of you. I'm going to advance when everything in me tells me to recede." That's the inoculation to fear, and if you experience it, if you face it and inoculate yourself to fear, in my mind that's where you're going to find bravery. That's where it's going to be. Your weaknesses become strengths. Those things that make you pause will allow you to go forward.
Rorkedenver

Rorke Denver

Commander Rorke T. Denver, founder of Ever Onward, has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and other international hot spots. He starred in the ...

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