|  Blog Post   |  courage is contagious.
Dare to Lead Quote

courage is contagious.

A question that comes up time and time again at the end of nearly every event of mine:

I want and need to do this. I want to choose courage and be vulnerable. I know my team needs this, and so does my whole organization. But how do I do this work when my leader isn’t willing to or worse, is ____________ (toxic, dangerous, scary, command and control, belittling, shaming, only cares about profit, etc.)?

I have no doubt that we wish that I had the magic answer and some way to make leaders do this work to create healthier, more courageous, and people-centered cultures at work.

Except sometimes, those leaders aren’t even in the room.

And we can’t change other people.

We can only change ourselves.

And it is enough, I promise.

We do the work for ourselves and the people who we love and lead and have influence over.

We do the work so that we can sleep at night and look ourselves in the mirror.

We do the work because we deserve it, are more than worthy of it, and the world desperately needs it.

And so, yes, I ask you to be brave and walk out the work not only with those you lead but also with those who lead you. I am asking you to be extra brave in some ways.

Because courage is contagious.

And when we create a culture of courage at work, where people feel seen and like they belong, we create a culture that changes lives.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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