Face Your Fears Head On!
We often forget that fears are part of the universal human experience. They’re normal, to some degree, even for leaders. The goal is to avoid compensating for them and, instead, identify and overcome them.
In my last blog we talked about how practicing intentionality helps. Let’s continue with these four fundamental pillars, as outlined by management consultant Peter Bregmen in Leading with Emotional Courage: How to Have Hard Conversations, Create Accountability, and Inspire Action on Your Most Important Work (Wiley, 2018):
1. Self-Confidence: Fears are greatly influenced by a lack of self-confidence. Leaders who boost their confidence address the most challenging of the four pillars.
2. Support Structures: Strengthen your relationships and support structure need nurturing and strengthening.
3. Be Intentional: Practicing intentionality moves leaders farther away from fear through focus and an effective game plan.
4. Face Them!: Facing fears directly and exposing them puts them behind you for good.
Today, let’s explore the 4th pillar: Face Them!
As with many aspects of leadership, the direct approach is best. Facing fears is no exception. With the help of an executive coach, you can craft a plan to deal with your fears head-on.
Bregman encourages leaders to use fear as an incentive. By exposing your thoughts and perceived weaknesses to your coach, mentor or trusted colleague, a secret’s power is broken. Talking through your fears is therapeutic, and you may see how powerless they really are. Freedom eludes you when you bottle up and avoid your fears. Solutions are usually less complicated than you first perceive.
When you can, admit past fears to your staff—a move that can further reduce their impact. By being transparent and accountable, you’ll earn people’s admiration and avoid criticism or rejection. Strong leaders needn’t fear showing vulnerability if they deal with their fears directly and effectively.
There’s no reason to allow fear to debilitate you. Organizations run more effectively—and employees have greater regard for their jobs—when leaders have the courage to lead boldly.
We’ve covered all 4 pillars and I hope you are inspired! I’ve faced fears of mine and am better for it!
How can you directly deal with one of your fears now?
What 1-2 things could you do differently tomorrow?
What impact would it have?