Fear is a very real emotion for many leaders and often it has a prime seat at the table when tasked with making decisions, innovating, or trying new experiences.
I remember once being told by a teacher, who was not impressed with my jungle gym skills, that I lacked a necessary level of fear. That always stuck with me, because while it didn't bother me at all to not look before I leaped, there were things that terrified me. What scares leaders is different for everybody. One leader might be terrified about delegating their responsibilities and then not even think twice about green lighting a new project with many unknowns.
The reality is that things become less scary when the dialogue is open and honest. Nothing combats fear faster than having a conversation - whether it's with others or yourself. If you think about a common tactic of a fear-based leader, it’s usually shutting down communication and limiting the conversation.
Ask yourself: Are there people within my organization who know what scares me as a leader? Does my team know what triggers me or puts me in cold sweats? What would happen if I even dared to say my fears out loud?
While it may seem like your burden to bear, letting others know what jolts you is humbling and shows vulnerability, which builds trust and emotional capital with your team. It also begins your development through those worries.
For leaders, it’s important to know: How do you show up when you’re scared? What’s the impact on your leadership style and the team?
Building this awareness happens when you give yourself permission to not be the “perfect” leader. Have the conversation about what scares you, how that impacts your leadership style, and continue to talk with others through your fear.
Start the conversation with us, we want to know: What are your top leadership fears?
This blog was originally published March 26, 2014 on the Fierce Leadership Blog and was written by Jaime Navarro.