How to be bold

5 Steps towards getting off the fence and taking charge of your life

Posted Oct 28, 2018

How to be bold

We tend to admire people who are decisive — those bold risk-takers, the firmly committed ones, those who can stand-up, make a decision and march boldly ahead. So solid and resolute, so in command of their lives.

But they shouldn’t be confused with those who are simply impulsive. Impulsive folks can seem like bold risk-takers, but their apparent boldness comes not from being clear and determined but more from their being emotionally driven. Often they act without any plan, they lack emotional brakes, they do what they do at the time because that is what they feel like doing at the time. Sometimes it works out, others times not so well. whatever. Emotions, rather than their rational brains and their values, are driving the car.

And they also shouldn’t be confused with those who simply haven’t yet made of their minds. Here we’re talking about pro and con lists, about mentally sorting through feelings and possible options. Bold people do ponder and sort; what they are good at is moving forward once the decision is made.

Most of us have an irregular, more part-time boldness: We’re able to speak up and be decisive about some issues or with some people but not others. Or we’re able to take a stand when backed into a corner or fed-up enough, but can also turn limp and wishy-washy with just enough of everyday-stress. But for some, stepping up and making a solid decision isn’t a part-time occasional challenge but a constant struggle: Should we get married, should I take that new job, should I order the lunch special can all have the same emotional weight. They waver, hesitate, hem and haw.

Like most psychological problems, indecisiveness is the result of several underlying sources. Here are the most common culprits:

You are thinking too far ahead

Here anxiety kicks in and sound decisions equates to not making mistakes, and mistakes equates to being sure that nothing negative happens after. This is the nature of anxiety, filling our heads with endless worst-case scenarios, pushing you to try and control a future and outcome that can’t be controlled.

You are self-critical

These worst-case scenarios get even worse when you add self-criticism into the mix. Not only are you hesitant because you worry about the outcome, making a mistake, but self-criticism means that that mistakes come with a price, namely a painful mental flogging that intensifies the pressure to do it right.

Everything is important

Anxiety is not only good at generating myriad awful outcomes, it also washes away any sense of perspective, and makes everything feel equally important. Once you lose the ability to prioritize even small decisions, like whether or not to get the lunch-special, can feel like a big deal.

You don’t want to upset others

This is a subset of not making mistakes, but for many a huge decision roadblock that creates timidity: Even if I know what I believe or want, I hold back for fear of other’s reactions; I’m only happy if everyone is happy. This type of thinking leaves you wavering and sitting on the couch worrying.

Again, those who are bold and decisive can also get caught up in these emotional potholes, but they are able to climb out of the them, and over time learn to avoid them. Here’s how to ramp up your boldness:

Boldness 101

Practice listening to your gut

If you find yourself constantly wavering because your head is filled with any or all-of-the-above mental chatter, you need to get out of your head and into your gut. You want to tap into your wants and don’t-wants rather than your shoulds. Want to get married? What does your gut say? Take the job? Ditto. Lunch-special? Yeah?

Set priorities

If everything becomes blurry with importance, it’s time to step back and get your rational brain back online in order to override your anxious one. Lunch special — no big deal, only lunch. Marriage, job — yeah, definitely bigger deals. Make a quick decision on the lunch, but take your time and think and feel through, but not obsess, about the marriage, the job.

Take action

This is the most important step — do! Not only is boldness ultimately about action, but it is through action that you can bulk up your boldness-muscles. Only by moving forward in spite of those anxious, critical voices in your head, only by stepping outside your comfort zone can you find out that what your anxious mind is telling you might happen, doesn’t. Baby steps are okay. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, jump off the cliff into that lunch special. This isn’t about lunch but about being brave and decisive. With practice your courage and confidence will increase, enabling to take on ever-bigger challenges.

Realize that you can always mop up / change your mind

It’s helpful to realize that even the biggest of decisions are rarely immutable; there’s almost always room to mop-up or change your mind. If your friend is upset because you decide at the last minute to skip going to the concert with her, you can send her a text letting her know that you so appreciate her invitation, apologize for deciding at the last minute to stay home and disappointing her, and that you are looking forward to the next big outing.

But the same thinking is true for the wedding — you really can call it off, or if the marriage is not working out, can get help to repair it or get divorced. If the job turns out to be a bust, you might kick yourself, but a good lesson is learned, and you can begin to look for another. The only things in life that are final are those that can literally kill you.

The theme here is that decisiveness is never about the content of whatever you are obsessing over — the lunch, jobs or weddings — but about building up your courage by trusting your gut and acting. Start slow, practice on the lunch or a bunch of lunches, then expand out.

It’s about increasing your comfort zone, overriding your anxiety and becoming more…you.

Bold letter generator for copy and paste on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc.

This is a simple bold letter generator. You can put in normal text and it’ll output bold text that you can copy and paste into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and almost any other website which allows you to submit text.

Text formatting on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is generally non-existent. They don’t allow bold letters, italic letters or cursive letters. For those who are used to being quite expressive with their text formatting this can be a bit annoying. It’d also be very handy for those who have important messages to be able to use bold text or italic text to portray some urgency in their social media announcement. This bold letter generator enables us to do this without needing to wait for Facebook or Instagram to implement such a feature (and I think it’s unlikely that they will). It can make your Instagram bio or Facebook status or comment stand out amongst all the other plainly formatted ones.

You might be wondering how it’s possible to make the bold letters copy and paste-able – after all, if Facebook or Twitter allows you to post bold text, then why have they hidden the feature? Well, as it turns out you’re not actually posting normal text in bold format, rather, you’re posting a completely different set of symbols. The bold characters that this generator makes are actually different symbols in the Unicode specification. Unicode is a standards body which helps the computing industry come to an agreement on a universal set of symbols that computer devices should support. Along with all the characters on your keyboard, the symbols like ® and ™ are examples of symbols that Unicode specifies. But Unicode specifies thousands of symbols, and it just so happens that there are multiple sets of alphanumeric symbols that are specified within Unicode. One of these sets is on your keyboard, and another is identical, except bolder! That’s the set of bold letters and number that we’re using in this bold letter converter.

Bold Letters For Copy and Paste

Here are the bold letter alphabets so that you can copy and paste all of the bold symbols at once if you need to:

And here are the bold numbers:

I hope this translator helps you out! If you have any suggestions or comments, there is a comments section at the bottom of this page. Have fun playing with bold letters!

Headings identify the content within sections of a paper.

Make your headings descriptive and concise. Headings that are well formatted and clearly worded aid both visual and nonvisual readers of all abilities.

Levels of heading

There are five levels of heading in APA Style. Level 1 is the highest or main level of heading, Level 2 is a subheading of Level 1, Level 3 is a subheading of Level 2, and so on through Levels 4 and 5.

Headings are covered in Sections 2.26 and 2.27 of the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

This guidance has been revised from the 6th edition.

The number of headings to use in a paper depends on the length and complexity of the work.

  • If only one level of heading is needed, use Level 1.
  • If two levels of heading are needed, use Levels 1 and 2.
  • If three levels of heading are needed, use Levels 1, 2, and 3 (and so on).

Use only the number of headings necessary to differentiate distinct sections in your paper; short student papers may not require any headings. Furthermore, avoid these common errors related to headings:

  • Avoid having only one subsection heading within a section, just like in an outline.
  • Do not label headings with numbers or letters.
  • Double-space headings; do not switch to single spacing within headings.
  • Do not add blank lines above or below headings, even if a heading falls at the end of a page.

Format of headings

The following table demonstrates how to format headings in APA Style.



Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading

Text begins as a new paragraph.

Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

Headings in the introduction

Because the first paragraphs of a paper are understood to be introductory, the heading “Introduction” is not needed. Do not begin a paper with an “Introduction” heading; the paper title at the top of the first page of text acts as a de facto Level 1 heading.

It is possible (but not required) to use headings within the introduction. For subsections within the introduction, use Level 2 headings for the first level of subsection, Level 3 for subsections of any Level 2 headings, and so on. After the introduction (regardless of whether it includes headings), use a Level 1 heading for the next main section of the paper (e.g., Method).

Creating accessible headings

Writers who use APA Style may use the automatic headings function of their word-processing program to create headings. This not only simplifies the task of formatting headings but also ensures that headings are coded appropriately in any electronic version of the paper, which aids readers who use navigation tools and assistive technologies such as screen readers.

Here are some tips on how to create headings in some common word-processing programs:

  • If you use Academic Writer to write your APA Style papers, the headings menu in the Writing Center will format headings for you in 7th edition APA Style.
  • If you use Microsoft Word to write your APA Style papers, use the Styles menu to format headings.
    • Follow these headings directions from Microsoft to customize the heading formats for your future use.
    • To apply Level 4 and 5 headings (which are inline headings, meaning the heading appears on the same line as paragraph text), first type the heading and a few words of the text that follows. Then highlight the text that you want to be your heading and select the appropriate heading level from the Styles menu. Only the highlighted text will be formatted as the Level 4 or 5 heading.

The observance of the International Women’s Day is a day set aside to honour achievements of women over the years. We are celebrating how far women have come, encouraging ourselves to continue to strive and discuss where we are headed. The theme this year is so apt as it is focusing on boldness – #BeBoldForChange.

The average woman wears many hats today and being bold goes hand in hand with achieving it all. We all hear the different quotes that encourage women that impossible is nothing, that you can do and be everything you set your mind to. However to do all these things it needs to be done with boldness!

How to be bold

How can we ensure that the girls we are raising today are bold? We need to show them what boldness looks like – not like a man but like a woman. As a mum, you might be balancing work and life, or you might be a stay-at-home – the way you don multiple hats is what your daughter and other girls around you are watching.

There are still real questions on how a woman can juggle her ambitions and career aspirations with motherhood? How have the changing roles been embraced in our society?

Many ladies will tell you that they believe in the unspoken rule of one or the other. They believe that to excel at home then your career has suffered, or that if you are business executive then your homefront has suffered. However, what if we have real conversations with the girls we are raising, to show that it is possible to do it all. To embrace the reality of “sacrifice” everything of excellence takes sacrifice so we must boldly embrace this.

How to be bold

3 ways to foster a bold culture

Be Bold – You Need Courage

It takes a lot of courage to attain any feat, but the more we attempt with courage the easier it becomes to try new things and achieve our goals and aspirations. Women have been conditioned to think that being bold means that you are acting like a man, or to step all over toes and crush them. This is not what it means to be bold and have courage.

It is about having the courage to be uniquely you because you have a special DNA to achieve what God has wired you for. You need courage because sometimes you will need to stand up and defend what you believe in. I implore us to share the notion of feminine boldness as we raise our daughters, nieces and young ladies we are blessed to impact. We are the fairer sex but not an incompetent sex. I like the definition of boldness here which says “a person showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous” and guess what it is not tied to a gender.

Be Bold – Be an Example to Emulate

Bold women many times either had a bold mother or role model around growing up. However, somehow over the years, girls start to hear “don’t do that you are a girl” or pick up a sense that certain roles are for boys alone. Every child I believe has equal opportunity to be great at something while embracing who they are.

Share real stories with the younger ones around you, let them learn from you. Share with them some of the decisions you made through the years, celebrate other women who have done amazing things and let us start to see that we can support each other and make a difference in our circles of influence. The beautiful thing about being women is that it is so easy to celebrate ourselves. Celebrate the woman who raised awesome children, the woman who started her own business in a male-dominated sector. Celebrate the woman who knows how to make clothes that fit like a glove. So what is the point? Be an example and share examples!

Our children embody us and do what they see. We need to be the change we want and the society we desire. That way, they would grow up to reach for that same change and society.

Be Bold – You Can Do It

We need to teach our daughters to be to be brave, bold and confident. Raise girls to believe that with determination they can achieve the goals they set out to pursue. When you do this you have planted the necessary seeds of an I-CAN attitude. To know that they can attain heights and excel at many things. Affirmations are a great way for your children to grow in the spirit of excellence. If parents focus on raising girls who do not make excuses for having great ideas, then society will have more women who do not succumb to negative thoughts.

It is never too early nor is it ever too late to be bold for change. Any change you desire starts with you. The way we raise our girls and boys to be accommodating of differences is a great starting point. [Read: While raising empowered girls do not forget the boys]

How to be bold

To be bold is something that many people strive for. It is an admirable personality trait, and it is a strong one. But what is a bold person? What characteristics do they have? And how can you, yourself, become one?

Don’t worry, I’m going to show you all of that and more here in this article. I will show you just what it means to be bold, and I will offer eleven characteristics you can model yourself after so that you may take the necessary steps toward becoming a bold individual.

What it Means to Be a Bold Person

To be bold is to laugh in the face of fear. It’s holding your head high as you stride with steadfast stability and purpose. Being bold isn’t just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle and it is embedded deep within you, you just have to find it and reach in to pull it out!

More than anything, boldness means letting benefits outweigh risks and grabbing life by the horns! It’s not letting anything knock you down.

It’s laughing at anxiety and nervousness and trudging forward through life with utmost confidence and courage. It’s also letting your personality shine any way you please, and ignoring anyone who tries to smirk or sneer at you

Bold people let things slide off their backs while they focus on walking toward their goals and aspirations. This is what it means to be bold.

Next, we’ll break it down a bit and highlight eleven specific traits that are common for bold people to possess.

11 Characteristics of Bold People

Everyone is unique, but there are certain characteristics of bold people that stand out among the throng. Read on to see what characteristics are most common among bold individuals, and you may be able to identify with a few of them!

#1 Confidence

To be bold is to be confident. Own your identity and flaunt it! Don’t let others shoot you down with harsh opinions. Laugh at adversity and be proud of who you are! Hold that head up high and strut your stuff, if you want to be bold!

#2 Voicing Your Opinion

Don’t hide in the sidelines if you have something you want to speak out about. If there is a pressing issue, give your input and don’t shy away from voicing your opinion about what truly matters to you!

#3 Honesty, Even If It’s Brutal

Be honest in everything you do. Don’t hide behind lies or embellishments, because that is a sign of cowardice and not boldness. Be bold and say what you truly feel.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should insult people. It just means that when something bothers you or catches your attention, you’re honest about it. You also honest to yourself about your own faults, but your boldness helps you overcome them!

#4 Pride in Their Achievements

Bold people take pride in everything they do because it matters to them. If you accomplish something great, be bold, and show it off to the world! Let people know that you care about what you do.

#5 Concrete Priorities

Keep your priorities straight and don’t let anyone tell you what should be important to you. Bold people know that their priorities are tried and true.

#6 Clear Goals

Never waver. Set goals that matter to you and strikeout to achieve them. Be bold, and don’t let anything knock you away from your goals! The confidence that bold people have in their goals, and their drive to achieve them, is something to be proud of!

#7 Rock-Solid Bravery

Bold people never fear for what is to come, what may come, or what has come right in front of them at any given moment. They turn fear into action and vanquish that which seeks to harm them.

#8 Immovable Values

Bold people know what their moral values are to the very core. Nothing can shake them from what makes them unique from day to day, and no one can change their core values.

#9 The Opposite of Timidity

Bold people are brave in the sight of adversity. They take on challenges with vigor and courage. But they are also not silent or cowardly in any way. They are the complete and total opposite of such. They speak their minds, face their fears, and move on with more energy than a raging bull.

#10 Unabashed Vigor

The vigor of a bold person is unmatched. They have energy that no one can ever challenge, and no one likely ever will.

#11 They Make the Most of Every Moment

Bold people enjoy life to the fullest. They take every minute and cherish it. They take every hour and make the most of it! Every achievement, every relationship, and every second of the day is something precious and something worth sharing.

How to Become a Bold Person

To truly become a bold person, you must know yourself and build upon your strongest qualities. Use this list to find some of those qualities in yourself, and don’t let anyone tell you how to do so. You have to take this on independently and enhance your internal vigor! To be bold you must build upon your strength from the inside out. You can do this!

Final Thoughts

Being bold is a sign of strength, courage, and confidence. If you want to have a rock-hard personality with the strength of an inferno, build upon your bold qualities and take some advice from this article.

Everybody has the ability to be bold, you just have to dig deep and find it! Look around you and pick out people who you think of as being bold, and model yourself after them if you’d like.

Just take care not to copy others. You don’t want to be someone you’re not, but you do want to identify those bold qualities and make them your own.

Find your own personal way to enhance yourself and be the bold person I know you can be! You just have to want it.

How to be bold

On Being Bold at Work

As you may know, our February word of the month is bold. Our mission around here is to empower women to live, think, and dress with more color. And to me, that’s pretty much synonymous with living boldly! We want to live lives that matter. We want to live lives that make an impact.

So, today, let’s explore being bold at work. What do I mean by being bold at work? Well, I’m referring to operating with bravado and gusto and confidence in the workplace. I want you to behave so that people will not soon forget you!

Indeed, nothing big ever came from being small!

Living a bold life means asking yourself this question:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

How to be bold

How to be bold

Why You Should Be Bold at Work

Why should you be bold at work? Well, simply put, let me reference this quote:

Fortune favors the bold.

Beyond that, there are several more important reasons to be bold at work…

First, let’s be real — there’s no fun in playing it safe. Playing it safe is boring. Sure, there may seem to be security in playing it safe. But don’t you want more from life than only to play it safe? Be bold, and dare yourself. You’ll be surprised at what you can do.

Secondly, by being bold in business, you will stand out in a crowded landscape. Picture one fish swimming upstream against all the others. Or picture a full page colorful advertisement in an otherwise black and white newspaper. Do you get the picture? Why blend in when you can stand out? Indeed, you were made to stand out! You have unique talents and skills that only you have! As Dr. Seuss so eloquently put it…

There is no one alive who is you-er than you!

Also, operating in a bold manner will open you up to new opportunities. Be in the right place at the right time, and wonderful things happen. And the more you live boldly, the more you open yourself up to crossing paths with opportunity.

In the words of a former United States president…

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.

How to be bold

How to Be Bold at Work: Stop Doing These 9 Things

Are you feeling inspired to act more boldly in business? Great! Let’s do it.

In order to begin living a bolder life professionally-speaking, start by changing these nine things…

1 – Quit using weak words

Particularly as women, we tend to excuse ourselves, apologize for ourselves, and otherwise make ourselves seem small with our words.

Quit using words that diminish the strength of your thoughts!

In fact, I call for an immediate ban on the following words in both your written and spoken communication: just, I’m sorry, I think, kind of, I apologize, I hate to bother you, I’m not sure, I was wondering if, might.

Do you get my drift? Words matter! And you matter! So, clearly articulate your thoughts with words that are as strong as you are. Don’t shrink back

2 – Stop seeking the approval of others

People-pleasing always results in you conforming. People-pleasing always leads to you blending in – not standing out.

Let go of the need to win the approval of others. Let go of the need to be perfect. Take a chance. Take some risks.

3 – Let go of perfectionism

Learn the concept of failing forward. After all, if you’re not failing, you’re probably not moving forward at all either. When you do fail, learn from it. But don’t only learn from it. You also must change your actions going forward. So, if you continually learn and re-evaluate and course correct each time you fail, you will move forward and you will succeed!

4 – Don’t display a negative attitude

Let’s be real… no one wants to be around a negative Nancy. Don’t be that person! There’s nothing more draining on the culture of a company than a negative Nancy or Ned.

Rather, always embrace a “can do” attitude. People naturally tend to rally around positivity. So, be that person that makes people want to band together!

At the very least, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

5 – Pass on being passive

Don’t subjugate your personal power! Speak up. Say what you’re thinking.

Of course, you should always be respectful to your superiors, colleagues, and all who surround you professionally. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be assertive in your speech patterns.

6 – Waive your willingness to accept the status quo

Leapfrogging on point number two, don’t simply accept things as they are. Don’t do things just because they’ve always been done this way.

Rather, examine each situation with a fresh set of eyes. And really ponder your perspective of the situation. Offer up new ideas and solutions.

7 – Eliminate the excuses

Quit blaming others. Quit making excuses. Just get the job done!

In regards to excuses, well-known NFL football coach Bill Parcell has been known to say this…

I’m not really in the excuse business. We have this expression, ‘Don’t tell me about the pain; just show me the baby.’

8 – Stop being self-centered

It’s not all about you! Living boldly involves an element of paying it forward. There’s something so satisfying in helping others success.

9 – Delete distractions

Don’t fall for the myth of multi-tasking. Often times, multi-tasking makes us feel busy and important, but in the end, we end up with a lot of half-completed tasks. We have nothing of real substance of value to show for it.

Making a big impact requires a big commitment. Eliminate distractions, and focus wholeheartedly.

How to be bold

In Closing

For more business insights, check out our business series of articles.

Also, for fashion inspiration, be sure you click on the “looks” section of our website on a regular basis!

Finally, to shop our color of the month, be sure to check out the color of the month boutique!

One comment

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Question: “What does the Bible say about boldness?”

Answer: Boldness is the courage to act or speak fearlessly, despite real or imagined dangers. When a person acts boldly, he or she takes action regardless of risks. A petite mother will boldly snatch her child’s hand away from a six-foot stranger. A man may boldly stand up to a dictatorial boss, knowing he could be fired for doing so. Boldness is not to be confused with rashness or aggressiveness. It is, however, similar to assertiveness in that it empowers someone to do or speak what is necessary, in spite of the possibility of a negative outcome.

Boldness was one of the first characteristics the Holy Spirit imparted when He came to indwell believers after Jesus ascended into heaven. The followers of Jesus had been hiding in fear of the Jewish authorities, praying and encouraging one another. Then the Holy Spirit came upon them, and those formerly terrified disciples became fearless preachers (Acts 2). A short time later, as the disciples faced persecution from the authorities, they prayed for boldness (Acts 4:29). Their prayer was answered, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and “spoke the word with boldness” (Acts 4:31). God gives us boldness when our objective is to obey and glorify Him with it.

Spiritual boldness can appear to be opinionated or extroverted, when in fact the bold person may feel great trepidation. Such boldness comes from the Holy Spirit who compels a person to speak the truth in love even when it may not be welcomed. Healthy boldness can be compared to a woman who is terrified of snakes but sees one on her porch. She is frightened, but she will not let it escape because it is dangerous. She goes after it with a shovel and kills it, even while she is shaking violently for fear herself. It would not be accurate to state that this woman enjoys confrontation. Instead, her boldness in killing the snake comes from a determination to do what is right to protect her family regardless of her fear. Spiritual boldness pursues the truth, works to destroy lies and error, and speaks what is right regardless of how terrifying such action may be.

Worldly boldness, on the other hand, can become pushy or confrontational. It thrives on popular approval and often ignores caution or sensitivity. The incredulous words, “What were you thinking?” follow in the wake of a bold fool. We should not be bold in doing evil, accepting dares, or crossing boundaries simply to prove we can. Boldness without discernment can lead to foolish words and risky behavior. The book of Proverbs often connects rash boldness with folly. Proverbs 13:16 says, “Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool flaunts his folly.” Foolish people are so blind to their own error that they shamelessly brag about it. They are bold in proclaiming their erroneous viewpoints and even bolder in carrying them out. Boldness is no more fitting for a fool than jewels are fitting for a hog (see Proverbs 11:22).

Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” The righteous are bold because they know that God is for them and what they have to say is important (Hebrews 13:6). When the apostle Paul was in prison, he wrote to the churches asking for prayer that he be bold in continuing to proclaim the gospel (Ephesians 6:19). Godly boldness is motivated by passion for Christ and His truth. It is rarely self-centered because it requires us to set aside our natural desire for comfort and popularity. For Paul to speak boldly would most likely mean more persecution. Stephen spoke boldly and became the first Christian martyr (Acts 6:8–10, 7:1–2, 54–58).

As followers of Christ, we should pray as Paul did that the Lord will grant us supernatural boldness to speak and live as He would have us do. In this age of great deception and resistance to truth, we need boldness more than ever. Boldness, coupled with love and humility (1 Corinthians 13:4–8; 1 Peter 5:6), is like a light in the darkness (Matthew 5:14). When we are convinced that our message is life-giving and eternal, we can speak with boldness, knowing that God will use it to impact our world (Isaiah 55:10–11).

How to be bold

How to be bold

Is being bold always a good thing? Recently, Zenger Folkman did some research on the impact of bold leadership. Bold leaders speak up in difficult conversations, take risks, volunteer for assignments and often think in unconventional ways. However, there are some negative consequences of boldness as well.

I created a bold leadership index with seven items from Zenger Folkman’s Extraordinary leader 360-assessment survey. I looked at data from more than 76,000 leaders who receive evaluations on average from 13 others (manager, peers, direct reports). Comparing those who rank at or above the 75th percentile to those below the 75th percentile, I found the following difference on their overall ratings of overall leadership effectiveness.

How to be bold

Boldness in leaders seems to have a dramatic, positive impact on overall perceived effectiveness. After doing this research we found a great deal of interest in bold leadership and received a number of questions from leaders about their individual level of boldness. To help people understand if they are bold leaders Zenger Folkman created a self-assessment. We launched this self-assessment a few months ago and more than 1,400 people from across the globe have completed it so far. To complete this assessment yourself, click here.

(Our initial evaluation of the bold assessment is that it is an accurate predictor of an individual’s inclination to behave boldly. In our preliminary research we found a significant correlation between the bold self-assessment and assessments of bold leadership as rated by others. The correlation is strong but not perfect because sometimes we don’t see ourselves as clearly as others see us. In our experience the 360 evaluation of bold leadership by others is the most accurate assessment; however, the self-assessment provides a useful indicator of bold leadership as well.)

While there are some significant advantages for leaders who are bold, bold leaders appear to have some attitudes and behaviors that could create problems. Looking at the data Zenger Folkman had gathered from more than 1,400 respondents I compared those who were the most bold (those at the top 10%) to those who were least bold (those at the bottom 10%). I identified the 10 items showing the largest differences between the two groups. These differences clearly illustrate both the advantages and potential problems they face.

  1. The most bold leaders are 50% more likely to take risks than the least bold leaders. Most organizations are looking for leaders who are willing to take reasonable risks, but bold leaders need to remember to look before they leap. Their ease at taking risks needs to be balanced with careful judgement around the risks that are reasonable.
  2. The most bold leaders are 41% more likely to think outside the box and be less conventional. This trait leads them to be more innovative and creative, but it may also lead them to resist following standard processes and procedures.
  3. The most bold leaders are 37% more likely to be strategic and future focused. The least bold leaders tend to be more tactical and focused on immediate problems or concerns. Bold leaders can become so future focused that they ignore immediate concerns.
  4. The most bold leaders are 35% more likely to make decisions quickly and then move forward. Most organizations greatly value leaders who are willing to make good decisions but once again, these leaders need to be careful to gather all the facts and evaluate alternatives before they decide.
  5. The most bold leaders are 32% more likely to move at a quick pace which is a very positive trait. But, those who move at a quick pace can quickly become inpatient and frustrated when things move slowly.
  6. The most bold leaders are 29% more likely to let others know when they disagree. Typically, this is a very valuable trait because you always know where a person stands. Bold leaders, however, need to take care to not be too disagreeable.
  7. The most bold leaders are 24% more likely to speak up when they have something to say. Most of the time it’s great to have people who are willing to speak up, but sometimes you just need people to go along.
  8. The most bold leaders are 23% more likely to be confident, but once again, this can lead to over confidence and lack of humility.
  9. The most bold leaders are 22% more likely to be extroverted. However, there are times when people would be better off if they sat back, listened and let others lead.
  10. The most bold leaders are 20% more likely to try new or unproven approaches if they look promising. If a leader is not careful this could also lead to taking risks that could have a negative impact on the organization.

Boldness Is Best Served As Part Of The Meal Rather Than The Entree

In our research on bold leaders we discovered that bold leadership has its most powerful effect when it is combined with other competencies. One of those competencies is good judgement. If a leader is skilled at having good judgement but not skilled at bold leadership they would only have a 1% chance of being an extraordinary leader (e.g., a leader in the top 10%). On the other hand if a leader is skilled at being bold, but not at having good judgement they would only have a 4% chance of being extraordinary. When you look at leaders who are skilled at both bold leadership and good judgment, the probabilities go to an astonishing 95%.

In addition to measuring your inclination toward boldness, this self assessment can also assess your inclination toward good judgement and strategic perspective. As you look at the above list of potential problems bold leaders can create, these two competencies will enable bold leaders to create a profound strength, rather than a probable weakness.

This article was originally published on Forbes .