Leadership Fear

I was exploring the devastating effects of fear with a client recently and thought it may be appropriate to share an excerpt from my book, Love-Based Leadership: Transform Your Life with Meaning and Abundance. This piece describes what fear in an organization looks like…

“Increasingly, fear dominates our societies and most of our organizations. But you cannot fight fear directly. It is only possible to gradually supplant fear as the dominant emotion in our system of management by building respect, appreciation, and legitimacy.”1 LBL doesn’t look like fear, doesn’t smell like fear, and doesn’t walk like fear. “Perfect love drives out all fear.”2  LBL doesn’t just proclaim that people are important because it says so on the mission statement posted on the wall. LBL leaders do not say one thing and do another. An organization where LBL is not practiced is secretive: a fertile ground for non-truth. An organization without LBL is steeped in office politics and scarcity thinking. Information is not shared, it is hoarded. There is no sign of spirit. The focus and vision of organizations where LBL is not practiced could read:

We recognize there is only a limited amount of (money, people, projects, resources) and we will do anything to make sure we got most, if not all of it (money, people, etc). We tell our people they are important and they believe us because they are incapable of making any decisions on their own. We are the best because we said so.

“Too often managers and their organizations lose touch with their essence. This is true despite the growing evidence that companies with core beliefs and values that transcend the bottom line are, paradoxically, more profitable over time than companies that focus only on making money.”3

What are some other ways you have seen fear demonstrated?

In fearlessness,

1. Peter M. Senge, “Commentary.” Reflections, 2005, 6(2), p. 17.
2. 1 John 4:18 Holy Bible, King James Version
3. Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras, quoted in Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal, Leading with Soul, p. 41.