There is a four-letter word that stifles even the best leaders. FEAR. I’ve heard people use an acronym – Forget Everything And Run. That certainly won’t get a leader very far. The mantra I like to use when I notice fear is keeping me from taking action is; Face Everything And Rally.
I coach a number of leaders and find that it is most often the culprit whispering in their ears and keeping them from taking action. Of course I can’t bluntly point out that they are afraid. This would put them on the defensive. I have to help them discover what is at the root of their behavior. As they peel back the onion, lo and behold, most often, there sits a solid little kernel of fear.
Fear manifests in many ways, but when it comes to leadership, I see it manifest as avoidance behavior.
- Putting off difficult conversations and telling themselves they don’t have time
- Telling themselves they don’t want to make a big deal out of something (even though their gut signals they should take action)
- Hoping the problem will just go away
For every day a leader avoids confronting difficult conversations, they are eroding their own credibility. Is fear causing you to wimp out. Time to rally.