Leadership in Dialogue: How Courage Informs

  • Craig W. GruberEmail author
Part of the Annals of Theoretical Psychology book series (AOTP, volume 15)


This chapter examines leadership as courage, and places them both in the context of dialogue. By making the discussion surrounding leader behavior one which relies on courage and making courage-based decisions, I argue that leadership in dialogue makes for more effective leadership. It can also be inferred that the most effective and flexible leadership paradigm is one that engages leaders, those operationalizing the vision of the leader, and the others who operate in the local environment. Through an examination of the writings of Rollo May as well as Albert Bandura the exploration of courage is demonstrated to be a crucial component for developing leaders and leadership. Specifically, courage is an essential factor in leadership in dialogue and it adds to the role played by cognition, behavior, and the environment. Courage is the key element needed to create the opportunity to grow. Through examples from everyday leadership and from media, dialogue is shown to be an essential component of effective and collaborative leader behavior. Dialogue is how the personal trait of courage can be made visible to leaders and followers alike. Developing courage in dialogue is critical for leader development.


Leadership Courage Dialogue HCBT Psychological theory Leadership development 


  1. Ambrose, S. (2016, August). Sponsoring leaders. Boston, MA: Northeastern University.Google Scholar
  2. Awdry, R. W. (1996). Thomas the tank engine: The complete collection. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1999). Social cognitive theory of personality. In L. Pervin & O. John (Eds.), Handbook of personality (pp. 154–196). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A. (2008, April 29). The future of reciprocal determinism. (C. W. Gruber, Interviewer).Google Scholar
  6. Bollman, R. (2005, August 14). Homily. Sudbury, MA.Google Scholar
  7. Burke, C. S., Sims, D. E., Lazzara, E. H., & Salas, E. (2007). Trust in leadership: A multi-level review and integration. The Leadership Quarterly, 18(6), 606–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Glăveanu, V. P. (2011). Creating creativity: Reflections from fieldwork. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 45, 100–115.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Gribben, J. (1984). In search of Schrödinger’s cat: Quantum physics and reality. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  10. Gruber, C. W. (2009, July). The application of humanistic cognitive Behavioral theory; from developmental education into giftedness. Qwara, Malta: International School Psychology Association Annual Meeting.Google Scholar
  11. Gruber, C. W. (2011). The psychology of courage: Modern research on an ancient virtue. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 45(2), 272–279.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Gruber, C. W. (2012a). The Construction of Courage: Personal Resiliency in Educational Settings. Order No. 3531753, Clark University: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 155. Retrieved from (1152117019).
  13. Gruber, C. W. (2012b). What is the most creative thing you have ever seen? “useful” is the new “valuable” and dynamic systems are the key! Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science, 46, 243–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Larsen, K. S., & Giles, H. (1976). Survival or courage as human motivation: Development of an attitude scale. Psychological Reports, 39, 299–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lopez, S. J., O’Byrne, K. K., & Peterson, S. (2003). Profiling courage. In S. Lopez & C. Snyder (Eds.), Positive psychological assessment: A handbook of models and measures (pp. 185–197). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maddi, S. R. (2004). Hardiness: An operationalization of existential courage. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 44, 279–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. May, R. (1960). Existence: A new dimension in psychiatry and psychology. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  18. May, R. (1969). Love and will. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  19. May, R. (1975). The courage to create. New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  20. May, R. (1983). The discovery of being-writings in existential psychology. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  21. May, R., Angel, E., & Ellenberger, H. (1958). Existence. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  22. Moran, B. (2015, May 1). Navy performance evaluation system. BUPERS INSTRUCTION 1610.10D. Washington, DC: Department of the Navy.Google Scholar
  23. Putman, D. (1997). Psychological courage. Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology, 4, 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Reichenbach, H. (1961). The rise of scientific philosophy. Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  25. Rogers, C. R. (1975, February). Some very rough notes pointing towards a theory for humanistic psychology. Rollo May Papers. HPA MSS 46. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.Google Scholar
  26. Rollo May Papers. HPA Mss46. Department of Special Collections, Davidson Library, University of California, Santa Barbara. (n.d.).Google Scholar
  27. The Oxford English Dictionary. (2017). Trait. Retrieved June 8, 2017, from the Oxford dictionaries:
  28. Tillich, P. (1959). The courage to be. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Valsiner, J. (2007). Culture in minds and societies. New Dheli: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Walton, D. (1986). Courage: A philosophical investigation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wood, M., & Hughes, S. (2017, June 7). Uber’s newest executive says its ‘managers haven’t been set up for success’. Marketplace Tech. Los Angeles, CA: Marketplace/National Public Radio.Google Scholar
  32. Woodard, C. R. (2004). Hardiness and the concept of courage. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 56, 173–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Woodard, C. R., & Pury, C. L. (2007). The construct of courage: Catagorization and measurement. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 59, 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zanuck, D. F. (Producer), & King, H. (Director). (1949). 12 O’clock High [Motion Picture].Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations