Courage Is Grace Under Pressure

Courage Is Grace Under Pressure

Ernest Hemingway Quote



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Courage Is Grace Under Pressure; The Ernest Hemingway character test where knee jerk reactors fail and the unfazed keep a calm focus to show their mettle to the world

You never really know the extent of a persons character until you see them in a pressurised situation, you never know if they will crumble or rise up and face the crisis at hand.

The Bigger the Crisis the Greater the Pressure


The bigger the crisis the more the pressure will be ratcheted up, this is where the men will be sorted from the boys, this is where you find out if you are brave enough to face the crisis without emotional outbursts or over reactions.

How many times have you been shouted at by your boss? I think everyone has worked for someone who occasionally snaps at them for what seems the smallest of reasons. It is usually pressure from the bosses superiors that has lead to an elevated level of stress and under these circumstances it can be a vent for them to let off steam, however this is the opposite of showing grace under pressure.

If sales have dipped or targets not being met then this is enough reason for an inquest that usually leads to an ass kicking for some poor unfortunate soul near the top. This will trickle down the hierarchy of any organisation to project level and below as each manager at every level spells out in no uncertain terms what needs to be done to turn things around.

A manager at any level who can keep his cool and deliver a message to motivate his team without emotion or anger is someone who has the courage of his convictions and shows grace under pressure.

I have worked for companies and saw first hand a policy of treating subordinates with contempt and hostility simply because the project team level of management were under threat of their own jobs if they failed to deliver on target. This pressure led to bullying and it became the modus operandi because it always achieved the monthly numbers despite the unusually high staff turnover rate.

Courage Is Grace Under Pressure Compared To 'If'


The Ernest Hemingway quote; "Courage is grace under pressure" reminds me of the Rudyard Kipling poem "If", the first and last line of 'If' say it all really:

  • "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you"

  • "Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, and - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"

'If' by Kipling is a detailed explanation of keeping your cool under pressure and 'courage is grace under pressure' could be interpreted as a one line condensed version of 'If'.

Having the courage to show grace under pressure means that no matter the circumstances you can remain focused on the task at hand, it means you are not swayed into knee jerk reactions or emotional outbursts or even anger.

People like this are a rare breed and it is in the darkest hours where they are needed to step forward to show their mettle to the world.

Michael Joseph


Random Courage Quote

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are - E.E. Cummings