Fear promotes underachievement and mediocrity.
Fear impacts us all. We’ve talked about how fear impacts our decision making skills, and yes there’s more. We fear that we may fail, that we may lose control, that we won’t meet our goals, that we may not be liked, that we’ll be rejected, and so on.
Leading in a culture of fear is stifling, behaviors and inspiration are impacted, growth and creativity suffer, underachievement and mediocrity flourish.
As leaders we need a heightened awareness of what impacts us and how. Especially during times of change, (in some cases turmoil), we need to have stronger relationships with our staff to assess how they are doing.
Fear can be inspirational, but more often than not, it creates discomfort and restlessness, and negatively impacts productivity and results.
Let’s start by looking at how we lead. Do we fear losing control? Are we micro-managing? Are we too involved?
Control points vary. Do we provide timely communication? Do we solicit feedback? Do we address and manage conflict? Do we provide sufficient latitude empowering team members to address and resolve issues on their own or do we feel compelled to intervene?
Leadership is certainly not a popularity contest, but we can be inspiring and trusted while simultaneously holding ourselves and others accountable for actions and behaviors.
We’re all going to make mistakes. Let’s not err on the side of stifling creativity and diminishing the opportunity to learn and grow. Lead with confidence, not with fear.