A successful business today requires passion, drive, tenacity, creative thought processes, and boldness.
But that last one…where does it come from?
How do we seek out boldness, foster it, and send it out into the world to work for us?
Look beyond the obvious.
We can’t ignore boldness when it’s the sports fan that jumps in front of a news camera with a painted chest. But, what about the authentic, sustained, less-fleeting type of boldness?
As a leader, it’s your opportunity to unlock not only what makes you bold, but also to help those within your organization discover and hone their own personal flavor of bold.
So what is boldness, exactly?
…Not something we’re qualified to boil down to a Merriam-Webster level definition. And, honestly, it’s not what we want to do. Instead, we’re here today to help you define it for yourself and your organization.
The truth is: just like nearly every other word in the dictionary, bold is in the eye of the beholder (dare we say “bebolder”?).
In management, a bold move is hiring someone based solely on one interview prompt, “describe making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to me over the phone.” But, in accounting, bold might also look like the associate who took initiative and cleaned up a dataset template that limped by for decades but desperately needed a facelift. In the supply chain department, a reimagining of inventory systems can make all the difference to efficiency and ultimately, the bottom line. Doing something to change things up is brave—and bold.
Boldness isn’t always about the loudest clown
Now, in the circus, yes, there is an innately higher threshold to be considered bold. But, think about it: even under the big tent, it’s not necessarily about balancing the largest number of random kitchen appliances on your nose while standing on a PVC pipe. A single action performed with such mastery, such precision, and such conviction that it captivates an entire arena while looking effortless is nothing short of bold.
In June 2022, Kristy Sellers did just that, bringing a modern-day version of the big act to the stages of America’s Got Talent. Her bold routine married pole dancing, theatre, and 3-D art, defying expectations and leaving many a jaw on the floor.
If you’re going to dance, dance with who brung you
To stand out, get noticed, be praised for your boldness, you don’t need to make your text bigger or change the font to Comic Sans (please, please, not Comic Sans). Don’t change who you are in search of bold; instead, refine what’s already there.
Here are three ideas to help you and your team identify potential boldness in those around you:
- Host think-tank-style power hours where employees are encouraged to come with nothing but their wildest dreams, ideas, and aspirations for your company and the role they play within it. The bigger and crazier the idea, the better.
- Schedule a few minutes each day to jot down instances of areas where employees or coworkers showed. up. Who came to the table with a surprising idea or made a gutsy decision—even if it was just picking a new cold brew flavor for the tap when you’ve had the same one for years?
- Offer opportunities to step outside comfort zones. Maybe that’s an hour or two a week to learn a new skill or improve an existing one. Maybe an opportunity to do something outside a job description. Post a whiteboard of “tasks up for grab” for people who want to try something new.
Once you’ve identified these behaviors, be sure you continue to cultivate them by rewarding bold action.
Often, confidence and expertise give off the air of bold because someone was empowered to do their thing and do it well. That’s precisely why we’re here and what we do. At Blue Flamingo, we give you that permission.
Find your bold; chances are it’s already innately within you.
Image courtesy of America’s Got Talent
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