Leading With Fear
February 28, 2011 1 Comment
If you’re a leader, you’re going to lead with fear. I don’t mean you’re going to use fear as your weapon of gaining compliance – plenty of faux leaders do that and the results are easy to predict. No, I mean that you are going to have to face your personal fears head-on, and lead right through them.
In fact, if you don’t lead with some measure of fear still percolating inside you, then you’re probably in need of psychological evaluation.
We want our leaders to project confidence, and when we lead, we want to feel and radiate that confidence. But does this mean fearlessness? No, it does not. Confidence is the readiness to take the next step despite not knowing (with certainty) all the implications. Fear resides exactly in that same place. Carrying responsibility for others into unknown places with no guarantees is a recipe for fear. Welcome to leadership.
Now, I get what my brilliant #LeadershipChat co-moderator, Lisa Petrilli, writes about tapping into the feminine side of things as a pathway to overcoming fears. But I quite believe that, in many cases, the masculine side is just as important, perhaps even more so.
Suck it up. Face it. Walk right over it.
Some fears aren’t going to yield to self-analysis and enlightenment. Like locked doors, they just need to be kicked in. Putting your boot into it is sometimes all the enlightenment you need – “Hey, I can do this!”
You don’t have to be weak to acknowledge your fears. In fact, that is a manifestation of strength. Weakness is choosing the false security of inactivity over the nobility of taking action despite risk.
Fear – I say, bring it on! If we’re not feeling some measure of fear, perhaps we’re not taking on much of a challenge…!
(Join us for #LeadershipChat Tuesday nights at 8 pm ET. This week, on 3/1, we’re talking about how fear impacts the ability to lead. Join the (very human and transparent) LC community and enrich the discussion with your thoughts!)