Insights From

James R. Detert

The Enactment of Courage

Strategic thinking, sound decision-making, critical thinking, persuasion, empathy. There are a host of qualities that effective leaders should model in the workplace if they want to influence others and deliver truly positive outcomes. But chief among these is one that might not be on your radar: the willingness and ability to act courageously.

The Practice of Courage

It doesn’t matter how big your leadership toolkit is if you won’t be courageous enough to use those tools when it counts. Just like any other competency, you can learn, practice and strategically deploy the ability to act skillfully in high-stress moments. Here we dig into practical recommendations for getting to the other side of workplace fears.

The Importance of Courage

Courage: the lynchpin of leadership. It’s also the key to solving problems, innovating, pursuing opportunities and safeguarding the welfare of others. In a new book — and this Darden Ideas to Action series — Professor Jim Detert discusses courage as a skill that can be learned and developed.

The High Stakes of Hiring and Promoting: What You Should Be Considering

Hiring and promoting decisions can easily come down to a candidate’s abilities versus “fit,” which can be more about identity and social behavior. Darden Professor Jim Detert presents a case in point on these company-defining decisions — and the importance of looking for clues to spot and overcome implicit biases.

A Love for Leadership, a ‘Meh’ for Management: Fair?

Leadership and management: synonymous? Nope. Both are associated with defining behaviors, and research shows which are consistently seen more positively. But organizations need both leaders and managers to function. Here’s how to ensure the right people are hired for the right jobs.

What Leaders Need Now More Than Ever: A ‘Team of Rivals’

Churchill and Lincoln deliberately solicited the opinions of those who were willing to challenge them. Leaders may be best advised to evaluate where loyalty lies: the leader’s self-interest or the organization’s mission? Professor Detert discusses courageous leadership — necessary to get us through COVID-19.

UVA Football: Fanning the Flames for Fans

Football is typically a major source of revenue for university athletics departments — so when game attendance shrinks, money’s left on the table. In this case in point, Professors Sean Martin and Jim Detert discuss ideas UVA explored to energize the fan base, as well as tenets of any strategic turnaround.

The Critical Role of Ethical Considerations: 5 Insights From Darden Faculty

These insights from Darden Ideas to Action articles unveil the value of ethical considerations from a variety of standpoints and in a variety of sectors. They contain lessons for business leaders, employees and consumers.


Darden Professor Jim Detert studies courage in the workplace — the kind of courage it takes to disagree with your boss, put forth a new plan, confront a negligent co-worker or hold a difficult client to account.