As important as it is to each of us to overcome adversities and conquer our fears, it is an essential asset for true leadership. Far too often, those in these positions, succumb to these weaknesses and self-doubts, and let them control them, rather than taking charge of their own destiny.
While the concept and analysis of what makes each of us afraid is a rather complicated one, it is incumbent up a leader to be prepared for eventualities, pre – consider contingencies (or have back-up plans), and proactively proceed with a purpose, when weaker (or lesser) individuals merely stand by and/ or procrastinate.
Therefore, I have decided that it might be beneficial if I shared some of the lessons I’ve learned from my over three decades of identifying, qualifying, developing, training and consulting to more than a thousand true and/ or potential leaders, and submit an easy-to-remember, mnemonic-based method, to use 4 ways to effectively transform FEARS into productivity…
1. Focus on facts; face the issues; continuously move forward (ahead):
While one must care deeply to lead effectively, it is important to recognize and differentiate emotional from technical/ practical challenges. Rather than proceeding in a negative What if approach, do your homework and know the facts that matter most, and focus on these. You can’t bury your head in the sand, but must rather proactively face whatever issues, adverse or not, confront the group! There is no room for swimming in place, but a real leader is always proactively leading by example.
2. Empathy; excitement; endurance; energy:
Quality leadership is rarely a sprint, but generally a marathon! Only when one persists and moves ahead when challenges come up, will he truly perform to the optimal degree. One needs to get others more involved (and care, and do more), and in order to do that, must generate genuine excitement in his constituents. Others will only care if they believe you are listening to their needs and concerns, and proceeding in an empathetic way. A leader’s energy must drive him to greatness and perseverance!
3. Attitude + Aptitude + Articulation = Attention:
Proceed consistently with a positive attitude, which becomes contagious to those you come into contact with! Develop your skills, knowledge, judgment, and aptitude to the highest degree, so that you possess the wisdom that makes the difference in performance. Show that you are paying attention, and they will become far more attentive to your message.
4. Relevant; reliable; rational; reasonable; realistic; explain rationale:
Just doing something is rarely the right solution, but your actions must address pressing concerns and/ or issues. Others should know that you always consider ramifications, and thus you are dependable and worth following. If they don’t feel that you are rational or realistic, they will generally lose interest! However, you must realize that a leader must articulate his message clearly, patiently, positively, and in a solutions-based way, and assure that your rationale makes sense to those you serve.
While we all have fears, the difference is how we handle them, and proceed. Only when they are transformed to a productive approach that others believe in, and provides actual (as well as perceived) value, will one make a difference for the better!
Photo Cred: HuffPost.com