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The Trait All Courageous Leaders Have in Common
Episode 118th February 2022 • The Courage of a Leader • Amy Riley
00:00:00 00:11:22

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Before we start hearing from my amazing podcast guests, I do want to let you know that there is a trait that all courageous leaders have in common. I have validated this through my decades of work with leaders and the interviews I conducted for The Courage of a Leader book. In this episode, I tell you the trait that all successful leaders achieving extraordinary results have in common.

About the Host:

Amy L. Riley is an internationally renowned speaker, author and consultant. She has over 2 decades of experience developing leaders at all levels. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Deloitte and Barclays.

As a trusted leadership coach and consultant, Amy has worked with hundreds of leaders one-on-one, and thousands more as part of a group, to fully step into their leadership, create amazing teams and achieve extraordinary results. 


Amy’s most popular keynote speeches are:

The Courage of a Leader: The Power of a Leadership Legacy

The Courage of a Leader: Create a Competitive Advantage with Sustainable, Results-Producing Cross-System Collaboration

The Courage of a Leader: Accelerate Trust with Your Team, Customers and Community

The Courage of a Leader: How to Lead, Sell and Succeed Virtually


Her new book is a #1 international best-seller and is entitled, The Courage of a Leader: How to Inspire, Engage and Get Extraordinary Results.


Links mentioned in the episode


Call to action

My leadership legacy is to empower every leader to declare and fully live into their leadership legacies.

Let’s not get caught in the waiting game! If you want any support clarifying or fully stepping into your leadership legacy and/or bringing the concept of a leadership legacy to your team – we can also cover the 3 secret superpowers you get when you declare a leadership legacy – reach out to me through The Courage of a Leader website at


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Amy Riley:

Welcome to The Courage of a Leader podcast. This is where you hear real life stories of top leaders achieving extraordinary results. And you get practical advice and techniques, you can immediately apply for your own success. This is where you will get inspired, and take bold, courageous action. I am so glad you can join us. I'm your host, Amy Riley. Now, are you ready to step into the full power of your leadership and achieve the results you care about most? Let's ignite the courage of a leader.

Amy Riley:

Amy Riley here, your host for the courage of a leader podcast. This is where you are going to hear from my extraordinary guests. I will be inviting courageous, successful, amazing authentic leaders to come be on the podcast episode with me and share their real stories. Their insights, give practical advice about how to be powerful leaders that get extraordinary results. I have always had a passion for leadership. Even as a child I remember sitting in my elementary school classrooms and watching what the teacher did. Right? How did they engage the students? And I would think, Oh, that what they just did? I would do that. Because look, she got students from all across the classroom engaged in that. Right. So I've always been watching leaders, and how do they inspire people? How do they get people engaged? And how do they get the results that they want and they need. So no one was surprised when I got my master's of training and development with an organization with an emphasis in organization development. And then I went to work as a corporate trainer in a greeting card company. From there I went on to lead the global learning and development function in a manufacturing company. And I was working to develop my own leadership. As I was responsible for developing all the leaders in the organization. And leaders from inside and outside the organization will come to Me for guidance on how to lead and how to get the results they needed.

Amy Riley:

After working in some different company cultures, I was intrigued by the challenge of providing valuable learning experiences for different leaders that were in different situations in different company cultures. I wholeheartedly believe that each leader has his or her their own unique style and value. And we simply want to uncover that style, own our strengths and lean into them. I wanted to reach more leaders in a variety of organizations. So I decided to start my own business as a leadership development consultant, coach and speaker. Over the past two plus decades, through consulting, coaching and speaking, I've had the opportunity to work with over 5000 leaders individually and speak on stages in front of 1000 seat theaters. Right and I found myself becoming more and more of a leader of leaders and a visionary for other visionaries. I witnessed it myself and others the courage to believe it takes courage to work on ourselves so that we're able to transform what is around us. And recently, on the last several years, I decided that I wanted to reach not just individual CEOs, not just hundreds of leaders annually in the development programs that I lead, but instead I wanted to reach millions of readers and millions of listeners like you. So first I wrote a book, the courage of a leader, how to inspire, engage and get extraordinary results. That book was released in March of 2021 and immediately became a number one international bestseller. And now I will be podcasting right larly so that leaders at all levels can get the help that you need, not just for me, not just from the leaders within my work, yet also from the extraordinary leaders that I'll have as guests on this podcast, I will keep their inspiring stories, their insights, their practical advice coming your way, so that we all can ignite the courage of a leader. Now, before we start hearing from amazing podcast guests in future episodes, I do want to let you know that there is a single trait, we are going to explore different aspects of leadership. Yet there is a common trait that all courageous leaders have in common.

Amy Riley:

And I have validated this through my decades of work with the with leaders. And also with the interviews that I did with successful executives, while I was writing the courage of leader book, all successful leaders have a common trait. They have a bigger picture purpose to their leadership, they are committed to something bigger than themselves. I call this defined purpose, a leadership legacy. A leadership legacy is an aspiration about how you want to be known, or what you want to create in the world, it's something that you can start living into right away. It could be an initiative, a set of processes, a new business model, it could be a leadership trait, for which you want to be known and that you want to foster in the organizations that you're a part of. Examples of leadership legacies include a fully optimized enterprise wide software system, an innovative culture, teams that know how to operate with trust and transparency. With any of these three examples I just shared, there's work that can be done right away. For example, defining what fully optimized means, start rewarding innovative behaviors, create a shared dashboard that immediately gives transparency to the work. There is also a work thought processes that is continually created and left behind. Right for others to profit from and enjoy. So this could be the fully optimized enterprise wide software systems in play, right. And people have that real time data. It could be processes that predictably foster innovation, and team members who know how to operate with trust and transparency and can teach others to do the same. There's a wide range of possibilities, and you are the one to decide. And you can decide today, you can start living into your leadership legacy right away today. It does not matter if you're an emerging leader or a solopreneur, a CEO, right, you have a sphere of influence. And you can begin to leverage that right away. Define your leadership legacy. And then don't wait. Make an immediate impact. By leveraging your strengths. And using the influence that you have. It will expand from there.

Amy Riley:

Too many leaders at all levels are unknowingly playing the waiting game. Waiting to have that next credential waiting to have that next promotion, waiting until we get all of our colleagues on board are waiting until we have all of these currently pressing projects done. Right until we can proactively do that. You already have everything that you need. You can be the leader actively committed to your leadership legacy right now. And I am here to help. The courage of a leader podcast is here to help. My leadership legacy is to empower every leader to declare and live into their leadership legacies. Let's not get caught in that waiting game. If you want any support in clarifying or fully living into your leadership legacy, please reach out If you'd like to share the concept of a leadership legacy and being committed to something bigger than yourself with your team, reach out to me, and we can share with them the three secret superpowers that you get when you declare a leadership legacy. You can reach out to me through the courage of a leader website at Reach out don't hesitate. Take that first courageous action. And please keep listening. Let's ignite the courage of a leader in us all.