#LeadershipChat on Twitter tonight will be a very good one. What is #LeadershipChat? Check it out! Well, the topic tonight is fears as leaders. Since I will be unable to attend the session tonight, I thought I would write it on my blog instead. Too bad, I have a first meeting to attend on a volunteer position that I am interested in at the same time.
To set the context, Lisa Petrilli’s blog post, Three Personal Fears to Conquer for Leadership Success, has a much deeper look. Check it out, it is a very good post. I want to tackle what I believe was my fear of leadership success. My was always hanging around my fear of lack. Lisa’s post pointed out:
Fear of Lack down deep in a leader may say…
- If I make the wrong decision I might lose my job and not be able to care for my family
- I can’t give up this position that doesn’t fulfill me, working for this unethical/inept Board, because I won’t be able to find a comparable opportunity and my standard of living will suffer
- I can’t follow my passion because it won’t provide a title that is acceptable in my community/circle of friends – or even to my family…
- If I lose my job all those people who admired and followed me will think less of me
- I must demand respect because I can’t bear for my peers to see me without it
* An interesting note about lack: when you find yourself saying you “need” something, it generally points you toward where your fear of lack lies…and then you have to peel back a few layers to figure out where that need and fear of lack is coming from…
Well, that was definitely me in a nutshell. I had spent most of my career not afraid of success or failure but of lack. The point that drove it home for me was “I can’t give up this position that doesn’t fulfill me.” I spent the past couple of years of my corporate America career having this playing in my head… Boy, did it suck. I know it had some definitely impact on my overall performance. Once I may the decision and announced my retirement (4 months from the actually end date), I felt a huge burden lifted from me. I was able to really feel better about myself and what I was working on. The successes that I achieved my last 4 months, were stronger than the ones I had achieved from a year or so before.
I knew I was unhappy with my position and who/what I was working for/on… I knew that my fear of lack, kept me just doing what I had always done… I completely knew I had to get over my fear and did. I just decided that I needed a total change to make it happen. Fear is a powerful. It can make you successful and also drag you down. Challenge yourself to hit your fears head on. Acknowledge them and insure that you are address them when you are doing your best leadership work. Your success depends on doing just that.