“Courage and perseverance, the antidote for mediocrity.”

The name Helen Keller is synonymous with courage by overcoming great adversity. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree when graduating from Radcliffe College.

Someone once said, “Mediocrity is the best of the worst and the worst of the best.” Courage to leave the safety of the shoreline and swim where you can’t touch bottom is called leadership. Managers are willing to walk on the water as long as leaders are around to show them where the rocks are.

Mediocre, a French word meaning, “Middle, neither very good nor very bad, average.” Courage is having the heart and attitude to deal with danger, difficulty, or painful without withdrawing.

There is nothing worse than mediocre leaders. Leaders who never set goals. Always avoiding risk and refusing to face the fury of the storm, whether it’s upset people, difficult challenges, or making critical changes. They are a definite risk to the future of any organization.

Leadership courage is facing the unknown, setting goals and having a plan to reach them. Then building a team that refuses to be average and accepts nothing but a win. It demands changing the person you look at in the mirror from mediocrity to excellence before accepting the role of a leader.

Helen Keller had neither the advantage of looking in a mirror or hearing the encouragement of her own voice; yet she displayed a brand of courage that only the greatest of leaders possesses.

The reason most people never achieve their dreams is that they simply quit, give up too soon. Life and leadership were never meant to be easy. Without struggle nothing develops whether it’s a butterfly, acorns, or you.

Remember, the opportunities where it’s most important to persevere are the times that you will be the most tested and the most tempted to quit. The value and strength of your leadership is–what does it take to stop you?