Preparing to Blow the Whistle: How to Be Competently Courageous

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Preparing to Blow the Whistle: How to Be Competently Courageous
Jaap de Jonge, Management Consultant, Netherlands
Everybody knows that when a courageous person challenges people in powerful positions or entire organizations, bad things easily happen to them. Professor Detert of Darden School of Business is giving valuable advise to professionals who are considering such a courageous act like speaking truth to power, e.g., pushing to change some flawed policy or speaking out against unethical behavior. He recommends to follow these 4 steps to be competently courageous:
  1. LAY THE GROUNDWORK for action. It may take months or even years to establish a strong internal reputation (goodwill) and create fallback options in case things go wrong (be indispensable, have external options open, minimize financial dependence). Take little steps first.
  2. CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES carefully. Discern wether acting on the issue makes sense considering one's values, the timing and their broader objectives. Ask yourself: Is this really important? And, Is this the right time? Be patient.
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