ON LEADERSHIP, FEAR AND WEAKNESS  by Elliot Begoun

A leader who is afraid is not weak!

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Fear is not a word that is associated with leadership. More often it is its antonym, fearless, that anoints a list of favorable leadership traits.

Fear [feer] noun:
1)a distressing emotion aroused by  impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether  the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of 
being afraid.

Yet, show me a leader that has no fear and I will argue that this is a leader who is either not pushing him or herself or the organization forward, or is a leader that is failing to properly identify the inherent risks of their actions.

A Struggle With Fear

In my profession, I work with a lot of business leaders. Our relationship starts with a focus squarely on growth. However as it evolves and trust deepens, inevitably the discussion begins to include their struggle with fear.

It amazes me to see the confusion in their eyes when I first tell them that being afraid is good.

That fear signals a leader who is taking action and is pushing past his or her comfort zone either personally or organizationally.

Embracing Vulnerabilities

We do our business leaders a disservice when as a society we vilify vulnerability. When we force our leaders to suppress feelings of fear, doubt and anxiety, there are only two possible outcomes and neither is good for the business or the individual.

The first is stagnation.

The status quo is known, and a leader who does not want to confront fear, doubt or anxiety, will seek its comfort. They will avoid risk and fail to take action. Grasping at the known poisons the well of growth.

The other result is something we see far too often, executive stress and burnout.

Internalizing fear, doubt and anxiety is a heavy burden to bear. When their existence is frowned upon, viewed as weakness or counter to good leadership behavior, what options exist? None, so they are suppressed and manifest themselves in high blood pressure, insomnia and a myriad of other stress related afflictions.

Facing Fear

Let’s be honest. Fear is around every corner. There is the fear for one’s job, the fear of not providing for all those dependent upon your leadership and of course the fear of making a wrong decision.

In my work with family businesses, in addition to the above they also deal with issues such as being afraid to let down mom or dad, impugning the family legacy, or failing to sustain the business for the next generation. Business is scary!

What is wrong with accepting that as a fundamental truth and outing the fear, doubt and anxiety that faces any conscientious business leader?

Understanding Fear

Read  the  rest  here:  http://linked2leadership.com/2015/05/20/leadership-fear-weakness/

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