“Great Leaders Don't Lead out of Fear”
Fear of failure is a huge factor in the way we lead and follow. There is this notion that all failure is bad. In reality, unless we are willing to overcome the fears and be okay with failure, we will never know the opportunities set before us.
Past success, playing it safe, and fear of trying something new were the main culprits in Kodak’s demise. Kodak, an industry giant, filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2012 because it focused so much on protecting its film business that it completely ignored the opportunities brought by digital photography (which, by the way, was pioneered by Kodak’s engineers).
All of us face fear. None of us are exempt from it. Whether it’s fear of economic loss, fear of negative public opinion in the face of failure, or fear of losing our prestige, position, or power, fear is real and is very present.
Jesus knew the grip that fear would have on us, and He addressed it head-on. He told us not to fear losing material possessions. He told us not to fear others when they mock us for doing what’s right. He told us not to fear doing or asking for what others say is impossible. He told us: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18).
As you evaluate the way you lead others, is fear a factor?
Maybe you don’t hire people who know more than you for fear of losing your position. Maybe you’re afraid to dismiss someone who is hurting your organization because he or she is a friend. Maybe you are afraid to face real issues plaguing your organization because some of them may be directly linked to your leadership. Or, maybe you are afraid to do the right thing because it would impact your bottom line, so you’d rather look the other way and ignore the improprieties as long as the numbers look good.
Whatever “it” is, know that fear will prevent you from becoming the person and the leader you want to be.
Jesus, though confronted with fear beyond what we can imagine, endured the cross, knowing that any suffering paled in comparison to the glory that awaited Him on the other side.
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