Businessman with red cape staying on the roof of skyscraper

In the wake of Brexit, we are in turbulent times. There are rumours of another recession and given we’ve only just come out of one, it’s an exhausting prospect which business leaders will need a lot of energy to climb out of again.

The need for bravery can’t be underestimated in difficult times. Bravery fosters hope, hope fosters belief and belief leads to trust and a collected vision for the future, which will help to unite a team in difficult times when they’d rather hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. It trickles down from the top. Bravery breeds change and in tough times, change is often what is required to survive.

When it comes to leaders, there is a difference between the good and the great. Bravery is not a pre-requisite to being a good leader, but great leaders are always brave, can you think of any who aren’t? A leader who knows his/her mind and isn’t afraid to step boldly forward on a path currently unknown, leading their team from the front, is a leader who will get their business through tough times and out the other side.

Great leaders are infectious and inspiring, they are followed and respected and they make change happen. Great leaders are often visionaries that aren’t afraid to step out of the shadows and zig when those around them are zagging. But there is a difference between being brave and being reckless. To create positive disruption, decisions need to be carefully considered and not based on a gut feeling alone. Bravery can expose you, so you need to be prepared to be accountable for the bold decisions made. And you need to ensure you have done your research to justify the rationale behind taking the path less travelled.

Having courage doesn’t just influence behaviour inside an organisation but it can affect wider society and culture. Being part of the creative industry, bravery is the difference between a good and a great idea. It’s those who are hungry for braver creativity and bolder thinking, that create genuine change in the world in people’s thoughts, consideration and behaviours. Being brave can take the business, it’s team, customers and consumers, in a more interesting and profitable direction.

Our industry is an extremely saturated market place, so we need to make sure we find those kindred spirits, those who we can develop long-term relationships with. We have to hunt down like-minded and ambitious CMOs, Marketing Directors and C-suite professionals who are willing to take a jump into the unknown for a genuine change to their bottom line. It’s our job to use entrepreneurial strategic planning and brave, creative ideas to build confidence and belief in our CMOs to empower them to forge a new path. For this to work, we require ambitious leaders who trust us to lead them to a more fruitful future, who want to be a brave Agent of Change in their organisation and who have the influence and support to make things happen.

None of us quite know what the future will hold, we are still in the middle of the Brexit dust cloud, but one thing that all business analysts and economists will agree on is, as with any significant economic change, there will be a period of uncertainty and a degree of financial decline. It is in these times that we must find our courageous centre and carve out a future position. Often in times of uncertainty and decline, bright stars rise; entrepreneurs who identify an opportunity others haven’t and business leaders with clear vision, can courageously navigate past the storm. One thing we do know is, fortune really does favour the brave.

By Jo Davies, CEO, ZAK