MIT Sloan Management Review Article on The Courage to Be Candid

  • 16m
  • Evan Bruno, Jim Detert
  • MIT Sloan Management Review
  • 2021

When you think of workplace courage, your mind might go straight to whistleblowing — calling out unethical behavior, often in the senior ranks of an organization. That’s the example we see again and again in news stories: people who have risked their jobs, entire careers, or even family relationships to report doctored research, for instance, or delays in recalling potentially deadly defective products.

But whistleblowing is only the most obvious example. Other behaviors that organizational leaders tend to see as “just doing your job” take guts as well. Challenging bosses about strategic moves or operating policies, speaking honestly to peers or subordinates who aren’t pulling their weight, making and owning bold decisions — these, too, are acts of workplace courage.

About the Author

Jim Detert is the John L. Colley Professor of Business Administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and the author of Choosing Courage: The Everyday Guide to Being Brave at Work (Harvard Business Review Press, 2021).

Evan Bruno is a Ph.D. candidate in leadership and organizational behavior at the Darden School of Business, where he researches workplace courage and speaking up.

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  • MIT Sloan Management Review Article on The Courage to Be Candid