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?