Do you want to be a FEARLESS LEADER or a LEADER WITH LESS FEAR?
I am reading The Leadership Code by Ulrich, Smallwood and Sweetman. It is a great book and I recommend you pick it up if you would like to improve your leadership capabilities. The Leadership Code offers five rules to lead by.
I first learned about the book from listening to an interview with Dave Ulrich on Harvard Business Ideacast (Number 148, The 5 Essentials of Leadership, http://tinyurl.com/nx6a3h). I am familiar with Dave's teaching first hand from attending courses at GE's Management Development Institute in Crotonville, NY. He is one of the thought leaders on human resource management. The book is full of practical tools and applications. In one of the Chapters, they offer the following formula for risk-taking. It is the will to win divided by the fear of failure.
The fear of failure struck me. If you want to reduce the fear of failure, does that mean you need to become a fearless leader or a leader with less fear.
Do you remember Fearless Leader from Rocky & Bullwinkle?
He was a bad person. His accomplices were Boris and Natasha. Fearless Leader was cruel and thought nothing of punishing his co-workers if they disagreed with him or did not carry out his bidding. Contrary to what you might think, the fear of failure had to be high in Fearless Leader and he tried to reduce it by using fear. How many leaders use fear to reduce fear?
Not every Fearless Leader is easy to recognize. Here is a tip. The word fearless means to be "brave" and it also means to be "oblivious to danger." The differentiator is a Brave leader is not oblivious to danger but a Fearless leader is.