The definition for audacious from Webster’s online dictionary:
1. Daring; spirited; adventurous.
2. Contemning the restraints of law, religion, or decorum; bold in wickedness;
presumptuous; impudent; insolent.
3. Committed with, or proceedings from, daring effrontery or contempt of law, morality,
adventuresome, adventurous, brash, brassy, brave, brazen, bumptious, careless, challenging, cheeky, cocky, cold, confident, contemptuous, contumelious, cool, courageous, daredevil, dauntless, death-defying, defiant, defying, derisive, devil-may-care, disdainful, disregardful, disrespectful, doughty, easy, emancipated, enterprising, familiar, fearless, fire-eating, forward, free, greatly daring, harebrained, heedless, hubristic, impertinent, impudent, independent, insolent, insulting, intrepid, madbrain, madbrained, madcap, mettlesome, obtrusive, overbold, overpresumptuous, overweening, pert, presuming, presumptuous, procacious, pushy, rash, reckless, regardless of consequences, relaxed, rude, saucy, self-absorbed, self-centered, selfish, shameless, temerarious, thoughtless, unabashed, unafraid, uncurbed, undaunted, ungoverned, unhampered, uninhibited, unrestrained, untrammeled, uppish, uppity, valiant, valorous, venturesome, venturous, wild, wild-ass
You might ask, audacious? Why is audacity or being audacious a good characteristic? I originally wondered that myself. Audacity, or audacious acts, can elicit change for the good in both others and in organizations. Someone needs to point out an issue or a problem, which is often a daring act. Once the issue or problem is brought to everyone’s attention, then it can be addressed. I think often everyone is aware at some level of a problem or issue, but it becomes a part of the organizations culture to work around some issues. Occasionally, someone will step “outside the box” and find a new way to do something or an idea to quit doing something…but to suggest the change is often a bold move going against an organization’s culture.
In Dear Maxine, Letters from the Unfinished Conversation with Maxine Greene, Nina Asher writes of Maxine Greene’s speeches “…reminding me throughout how important it is to feel and think and act upon the courage of one’s convictions, to keep alive, engage, assert and share the audacity of eros, one’s life force, of the will to reclaim and heal self and society.” Steve Farber, president of Extreme Leadership, Inc. states “Audacity is best defined as a bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints. Noting that the business world always talks about thinking outside the box. A truly audacious leader asks, What box?” Punya Mishra, director of the master’s degree program in educational technology at Michigan State University stated “there is always tension between what we hold dear and what we must change…finding the right balance between these ideals is the essence of audacious leadership.” (eSchool News, March 18, 2013).
As a facilitator, I get the opportunity to help organizations and individuals plan and change. It is exciting to embrace change in a way that is planned, encouraged and sustainable.
Lisa C. Meredith