You Have the Goods

I spent a couple hours recently going in-depth with someone about an impending major career change – a BIG jump from one type of endeavor to another.

Without giving away too much about his/her background, I’d say that about the last thing you’d expect from this individual is the hesitancy and uncertainty that stems from fear.

But there it was.

“I don’t believe I have the goods.”

I think one of the best gifts we can give one another is an assessment of what we’re really good at, and a huge pat on the back to go forth and conquer.

If you believe someone has the goods, tell him or her. That little word of encouragement – that expression of faith – may well be the needed push to get someone over the barrier of fear.

Even the most seemingly-successful folks have the “you don’t have the goods, you big jerk!” minor-key soundtrack playing in the background sometimes.

Many times what we need is someone from the outside, someone both objective and encouraging, to say out loud, with a smile and little shove forward, “You have the goods!”

Leading With Fear

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!)

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