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Ryan Berman And The Return On Courage

By People Leaders | People Leaders Podcast

Ryan Berman and The Return on Courage

In this inspiring episode we interview Ryan Berman.

Ryan has worked with some of the most influential companies in the world. He has spent the last decade and a half growing his own creative business, but in 2019, he actually fired himself from his last agency to start Courageous, a change consultancy that develops Courage Brands and trains companies how to operationalise courage through Courage Bootcamp. He is also the author of the best selling book Return on Courage, a business playbook for change.

In this episode, we get to know more about Ryan’s definition of courage, his journey to understanding and deconstructing courage, some ideas on how leaders can build courage, our biology behind fear, and about his book ‘Return on Courage’.  

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Episode Highlights:

  • Ryan's definition of courage

  • "I think the world doesn't care if you've worked on something for a thousand hours or two hours. They don't see that. They just see the final product and you're not there to defend your work."

  • Ryan shared how he started with the concept of building and leading courage brands, and the beginning of his book, Return to Courage.

  • "Knowledge plus faith plus action equals courage."

  • Ryan further explains how these three, knowledge, faith, and action, need to be present all together for a decision to be a courageous move. 

  • Some ideas on how leaders can build courage

  • "What the experts basically suggest is that society is 95% freeze or flight, 5% fight. So this is not a business problem only. This is a people problem"

  • In Ryan's quest of deconstructing courage, he basically delved into our biology and our central nervous system. He further discusses that we have never been trained to develop what he calls our central courage system. 

  • According to Ryan's 'brain sherpa', Nicholas Alp, our brain is like a reverse onion with layers that are building on top of each other. Our sad, terrible experiences from when we are young up to present build up like layers, and our behavior has to go through all their layers or fear filters.

  • Ryan comes up with strategies to reprogram the brain, develop the central courage system, and equips his clients with enough knowledge to lead and take action on the big things they want to do.

  • Courage can't be taught... Ryan explains why this is a myth. He also gave examples from two different professions that showed how courage can be taught.

  • The four attributes that Ryan values himself and for the clients he will work with, in the exact order, are Playfulness, Creativity, Courage, and Excellence.

  • If anybody wants a Free Core Values Assessment, message Ryan at ryanberman@couragebrands.com

  • "To live a fulfilling life, you actually have to not only know your values but live your values. And it starts with being able to identify them."

  • Ryan, in his book, wrote the 'Courage Credo' and in it he said that courage is a team sport..

  • "Courage is a journey word."

  • "I like the word believership. I think the sole goal of the believership is to make believers in all directions. I make believers out of your staff, make believers out of your board (if you're a public company), make believers out of consumers."

  • Jan and Michelle quickly share their thoughts on leadership, that we are all leaders in some shape and form and that creates a high-performing team.

  • Ryan tells us more what he is working on right now, including the new Courageous podcast.

  • "Wherever change is needed is where courage is needed."

  • "I think there's so many great stories of courage and there're so many people that are stuck. So if I can help people get unstuck even just a little bit then that's my purpose. And I feel like I'm on the right path."

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