Fearful Leadership – How To Manage When You’re Scared


Apparently, leaders are fearless. They can see in the dark when others can’t. They can make snap decisions without being afraid of the consequences. They can stand up to people and be strong.


Bosses who don’t fit this mold are going to worry, and for a good reason. The culture of leadership makes it seem as if you have to be willing to fight a lion to succeed. In reality, almost everyone who has ever been a successful mentor to people has had doubts.


What they do differently is to use their fears to their advantage. Here are the ways you can do the same.


Realize Failing Isn’t Failure


Although this sounds backward, it’s true. When a boss fails, it isn’t the end of the world. Instead, it’s a learning curve they can use to be better in the future. It’s easy to see why failing seems like a huge deal when the eyes of the office are on your every move. However, it’s important to understand that not succeeding is inevitable at some point in life. Plus, if you don’t try new things, you’re going to stand still and not expand. All the best leaders take calculated gambles, and some of them don’t pay off. Don’t worry; brush yourself down and go again.


Think About The End Game


Fear has a funny way of making the most benign outcomes seem essential. It’s as if clients and customers are going to have a mass exodus if you don’t deliver on time. Now, you should always try to be punctual, yet it’s vital to understand that things pop up out of the blue. When they do, all you can do is tackle them head-on and try and keep up with the pace. Clients and customers might get mad, but they’ll also understand if you explain the situation. Just don’t make it a regular occurrence as that is destructive.


Seek Help


The weight of the company is on your shoulders and only you can bear the strain. Well, that’s not entirely true because everyone needs help. Asking for it isn’t weak; it’s strategic. Think about IT services for a moment. You have no idea how to create a detailed plan, so why wouldn’t you ask Frontline to pick up the slack? The same goes for cutting costs. You’re not an accountant, which is why KPMG is an excellent partner. Not only will micromanaging increase the stress on your employees, but it will put the company at risk too.


Understand It’s Healthy


People do things a million times and still get scared. The key is to understand that this is a good thing as it keeps you motivated. Fear isn’t a negative; it’s a positive. Once you realize this, you can then use it to your advantage as it keeps you honest. Also, you can use past experiences to make you think “okay, I’ve got this.” A little dose of the butterflies is healthy in everything you do, especially leadership.


Remember that there is nothing to fear but fear itself.



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