This quote from Braveheart states a universal truth. Without courage leadership does not exist. In the absence of courage lesser men assume leadership positions because society becomes ambivalent. William Wallace encourages through word and deed. The deeds strengthen the words, as they do with most people.
The example of Wallace teaches us to lead from the middle. When a lack of leadership exists at the top, this provides an opportunity for leaders to rise up to meet the challenge. The names of these leaders may or may not be lost to history, but without their courage and sacrifice movements fizzle and fade.
It was my good fortune to visit Scotland a few years after the Braveheart movie debuted. I went to Stirling Bridge and of course the nearby Wallace Monument (pictured below). An epic setting for an epic battle. I was seeing that field beneath the monument with the visions of Hollywood battles in my head. But, the Scottish feel that battle in their DNA. Don’t make the mistake of comparing the Mel Gibson Hollywood version of William Wallace to the average Scott. He will quickly correct you.
My biggest take away from the story and the movie is, empower those around you to stand up in the face of adversity. Many people often underestimate their influence over others. With a little encouragement they will find their voice. Even those endowed with titles, but seemingly lacking in courage, may yet discover their spine. You may never know how your own examples of strength will impact others in the future. Stay strong and encourage others at all levels to be the best leaders they can be.