MAKE COURAGE CONTAGIOUS To Get Your Voice Heard When You See A Truth That Others Prefer to Ignore

“If you see something, say something.” How many thousand times have you seen that sign?

Saying something could be material to everyone’s life and well-being. Especially when you’re a luminary who has science and logic on your side. But it may not make you the most popular person on the video call, the factory, the swimming pool or park, when you bring news they’d prefer to dismiss, discredit or ignore.

Level 4 leaders rise to the challenge — with Courage to push forward, even when people around them push back and try to stifle their initiative. They have the insight to see business opportunities that could get away, unless they act quickly to meet unmet needs and seize first-mover advantage. They have the foresight to see accidents waiting to happen, if people around them don’t wear the right PPE, safety helmets, fix defects or follow the right safeguards. Level 4 leaders say something when they see something. Their “Yo!” gets attention and their rational energizing call-to-action explains why the pivot is worthwhile.

When they encounter reluctance, outrage, stonewalling, Level 4 leaders have a choice. They can retreat to Level 2 and bury their brilliance safely below the parapets, where it won’t rock the boat or invite retaliation, stuck in risk-averse traps. They can descend to Level 1, cry “Foul” about insults and lick their wounds.

Or they can PowerUP to Level 5, ennoble, uplift and MAKE COURAGE CONTAGIOUS. If they’re artful at uplifting and ennobling, they’ll open doors and minds that aren’t yet open, so “see something, say something” leads to constructive action, not evasive or retaliatory action. They’ll invite others to sharpen their thinking, lifting everyone around them to Level 4 and engaging collective genius so that a good idea gets even better.

In today’s work environment — where COVID-19 changes the way we need to show up at work and the way that co-workers need to look out for each other — “see something, say something” is no longer a luxury. It could be a matter of health-or-illness, life-or-death.

In a business environment rife with new opportunities and new competitive threats, “see something, say something” is enterprise-critical. In virtually every enterprise, there are pivots that won’t just eke out a living but will take your enterprise to the next level, if you convince others to explore them, refine the plans and seize them.

We know it feels uncomfortable if you’re the Boeing 737 Max8 flight engineer who sees problems with the MCAS that no one else detected. We know you’re vulnerable as the market analyst who sees how an upstart like Alibaba could disintermediate your value-added reseller enterprise, before anyone in the corner office sees what’s coming. We understand your sleepless night if you’re the CEO who sees how investors will chafe at this tranche’s investment terms but are facing a hostile macho board who demands that you accede to their instructions. We feel your pain if you’re the Plant Manager trying to keep your workers safe, and you face push-back and ridicule because the protocols you’ve established with public health authorities aren’t the ones that are popular with their favourite reality-TV personalities. We know you’ll face incredulity, if you’re the pharmacovigilance luminary who proposes a black-box warning that will cost you sales and narrow your targeted patient profile, even though the warning will keep your new therapy from causing adverse events and getting pulled from the market.

If turbulence like this — and other Volatility Uncertainty Complexity and Adversity (VUCA) — make it more vital than ever to “see something, say something,” we invite you to see if you’re ready to MAKE COURAGE CONTAGIOUS. And, if you’re ready, we invite you to see how you can lift yourself from Level 4 to Level 5, so you get your voice heard and lift everyone around you out of risk-averse traps.


MAKE COURAGE CONTAGIOUS is the new leadership book by Dr Merom Klein + Dr Louise Yochee Klein. It shows you to profit through turbulence with “see something, say something” leadership. Klein + Klein are business psychologists at Courage Growth Partners, a global innovation leadership consultancy. They invite you to get feedback on your readiness to step up and make a difference with their FREE online readiness assessment @