Performance character

Assets | Courage

1. Highlights

Many systems and structures currently in place in the world — including systems in education — are not built to embrace change. It takes courage to stand up for a different perspective or approach and to pursue a solution that challenges the status quo.

Find ways to change the system even when faced with resistance

Collaborate with others to take risks to achieve more equitable outcomes

Forge ahead when faced with uncertainty, keeping in mind our vision and goals

The work of Principled Innovation ultimately requires action on the ideas we generate. This often means finding ways to change current systems to adopt new solutions. Yet when our communities or learning environments are opposed to our ideas or do not welcome all voices, speaking up requires courage. Building on the PI assets of empathy, perspective taking, inclusivity and resilience, courageous action involves a moral or ethical conviction toward action. Our knowledge of the culture and context of the learning system can ease our uneasiness to act.

Taking courageous action can be made easier by engaging our other character assets: those mentioned above, as well as honesty, truth-seeking and collaboration can all help as we work to pursue change. Courage can look like risk-taking — not at the expense of others, but in collaboration with others and in pursuit of more equitable outcomes that address a variety of needs. Courage can also mean forging ahead in the face of uncertainty, keeping our vision and goals at the heart of our decisions. One question to ask that can prompt courage is: What are the risks, consequences, or missed opportunities that would result from inaction?

By drawing on our courage, we can work to find solutions to systemic challenges
Leaders can show their willingness to change by identifying “small wins” that create momentum toward systems improvement.

2. Context

Leaders can show their willingness to change by identifying “small wins” that create momentum toward systems improvement.

3. Resources

Select one of our featured resources or visit the PI toolkit library for more tools.

10 features of courageous choice


  14 minutes

  By: Psychology Today, Shahram Heshmat

The danger of silence


  4 minutes

  By: Clint Smith, TED

Courage to innovate


  1 minutes

  By: Ritu Bajaj, TEDx

Moral elevation and courage


  20 minutes

  By: Principled Innovation™ (PI)

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