Fear and Courage Leadership


What do you fear?  Do you have the answer to this question? Have you ever been in a meeting and afterwards regretted that you bit your tongue? Have you gotten in trouble because you did not face your troubles earlier? Well let me tell you a little secret; Leadership is all about fear and courage.

What do you want to do?

You are probably surrounded by choices and opportunities all day long. Each one of those daily happenings is challenging you courage to deliver. It might be a talk that gets postponed, a disagreement with your boss, (un)reasonable demands from your spouse. Sometimes you might just agree or give in. How many times have you in retrospective been right? You own it to yourself to display the courage to do what you think is right.

What is fear?

Fear is your mind cooking your past experience and negative expectations analytics into a soup of fear of being wrong, being stupid, saying something out of place, speaking up and so on. In a group of people there is always somebody that hopes that somebody else is going to say exactly what themselves are thinking, even if mindreading is a skill few non-fictional characters possess. Fear is what’s keeping you from doing what your really would like to do.

This brings me back to leadership. It is easy to point out something in an e-mail. It is hard to say stuff to someone’s face. Guess what is the best approach? It is easy to overlook someone doing a poor job; it might be hard to fire him, because he is such a fun co-worker. It is easy to find an excuse; it is hard to face the problem. If you can fight your fears you will become a better leader.

Challenge yourself to great leadership

I have had a dream for years; a few weeks ago I decided to promote myself as a public speaker at a future telecom conference. I feel I have something useful to say, I fear speaking in public, I challenge myself. I am 100 percent confident that I will do well. I am challenging my own fears and so should you. I remember a few years ago I was shaking in a dressing room at work. I was about to jump into my batman costume and run crazy around the office. I stood in the dressing room for 10 minutes before my head rushed full of blood and I ran around the cubicles. The morale and mood of the entire department skyrocketed in one tenth of a second! It was amazing, I filled myself with energy and everybody had a blast! Traditional leadership needs weeks to gain the same effect as I did back then in just a few seconds. And it was fun. I’d do it again if I would still fit in my hot batman costume.

As a leader you are obligated to keep challenging yourself, challenge your knowledge, challenge your courage and challenge your surroundings. This is the only way you will continue to develop.

How do you challenge yourself to become a better leader?

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7 Comments on "Fear and Courage Leadership"

  1. Really encouraging words

  2. Frode Heimen | June 14, 2010 at 5:49 am |

    Hi Sandra.
    Thank you for this great comment. This reminds me of optimistic vs pessimistic thinking. A setback do not need to be the end. The winners are the ones that keep going. Love your last sentence, should be hung up on the wall. “what percentage of your life is filled with regret? Regrets are lost courage.” – Nice.

  3. True fear is a survival signal that sounds only in the presence of danger; yet, our culture is stuck in the creation of dualities, such as courage or fear (good/bad, pretty/ugly, peace/war, etc.). In other words, you can’t have courage without fear. Not true! Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur. You go to work and learn your biggest client has gone to your competitor. Do you allow anxiety to take over in the form of projections, such as “I am going to go under…” At this point, a courageous person not aligned in fear observes the mental chatter knowing the ego or false self is creating unnecessary suffering. A courageous entrepreneur (or employee at any level) does not spend much time in regrets. Fear blocks and paralyzes the heart; therefore, fear blocks courage. The etymology of courage means, “heart and spirit.” Access right now: what percentage of your life is filled with regret? Regrets are lost courage.

  4. Frode Heimen | June 1, 2010 at 7:04 pm |

    Hi Roland, thank you so much for your kind words.

  5. Frode Heimen | June 1, 2010 at 7:03 pm |

    Hi Brian, thanks for spending time on my blog. Good point. Jump and find out, either you will succeed or you will learn another way not to do stuff. 🙂 Cheers! – Grab a beer!

  6. Thanks for the post. Fear is my greatest enemy when it comes to leading the way. The best tactic that I have used for walking through the fear is to think about what would be worse failure or wondering. I almost always decide that wondering about whether I would have succeeded would be worse than not knowing. Wondering gets me nothing. Failure brings me one step closer to success. Succeeding brings me closer to realizing my dreams.

  7. Really encouraging words which help everyone to overcome his feelings.I really enjoyed your words and hope anyone will get anything from this post.Thanks for your GREAT WORK. Thank you very much.

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