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Shootout Shows Need for Managerial Courage


Lightspeed VT changes the world for the better by training, educating and enlightening virtually. All too often, old-style training fails and can be criticized, at times, for being too expensive or inaccessible, but virtual training solves the access problem. And when it comes to cost, there’s an old saying: “You think education is expensive? Try ignorance.” Ignorance can certainly lead to missed opportunities, ruined careers…or worse.

The recent incident at a Waco, Texas, Twin Peaks restaurant that left 9 dead, 18 injured and nearly 200 people in jail is one such example. As a society, when tragedy occurs, answers are expected as we aim to learn from them so mistakes aren’t repeated.

Part of the solution going forward is training and one area that training may have helped in this instance is Managerial Courage. According to New Velocity, a leading sales training system, Managerial Courage is “Developing the capacity to communicate with candor and a balance of ego & empathy; providing current, direct, complete and “actionable” positive and corrective feedback; willingness to take action when necessary and without hesitation.” Managers often have to make tough decisions, decisions that could affect not only their business but the fates of the people that work there and their families.

“Exceptional Managerial Courage is like walking a tightrope without a net,” New Velocity’s founder Chris Daltorio said. But like a tightrope walker, the courageous manager will “Trust… preparation and give the task at hand the appropriate amount of consideration.”

The general manager at the Twin Peaks had a tough decision to make: A) accept a ton of business, albeit with a direct warning from law enforcement that things could go bad, or B) turn away those customers and lose what could’ve been one of their most profitable days of the year.

Despite the warning by law enforcement and their franchisor, the general manager of the Twin Peaks decided to serve these gangs. Following the incident, the state of Texas suspended the restaurant’s liquor license. Shortly after that, the franchisor chose to revoke the operator’s franchisee status.

This incident is a lesson in Managerial Courage because it demonstrates how important it is to understand what the right thing is, and how to do it. No one can see into the future. But difficult decisions are part of the job for managers. Therefore management teams must be prepared to make the best choices possible in difficult situations, by trusting their preparation.

Managers, just like all leaders, need to be trained to think things through and decipher different scenarios that could play out so they can properly move the business forward and avoid catastrophes.

Fear often plays a huge role in making decisions. That fear leads to a lack of Managerial Courage. But in New Velocity’s VT, managers and leaders learn how to overcome fear and become truly courageous. This can mean choosing to sell an unknown product, giving an inexperienced worker a chance to prove themselves, or even turning away business to ensure the safety of your team and customers.

The general manager at Twin Peaks very likely feared the loss of financial gain. Would he, perhaps, have lost his job if he didn’t serve those bikers and the money went peacefully to a competitor’s business?

With proper training, he might’ve been more likely to eschew the immediate rewards of those customers for the longer term vision of safety. He and his team would still have jobs…and 9 people would still have their lives. Instead, he chose the quick buck and everyone involved paid a huge price.

You don’t want your business to fall into the same trap. For a business to have real, positive influence and be prepared to act intelligently and courageously in the face of fear, Managerial Courage is a must and the best place to develop it is with virtual training.


— Stephen Herzog

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