May 7 • 13M

Fear is like lighter fuel

And why you shouldn't lead with it

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Appears in this episode

Rob Lambert
A short weekly audio show for paid members - called Here's an idea worth playing with.
Episode details


In today’s “Here’s an idea worth playing with” I cover fear, and why it can be helpful to drive change (new markets, new products, set up your own business etc), it’s pretty much a bad idea as a way of leading. As Edward Deming said, we should drive out fear.

Here’s what I cover, in a lengthier than usual HAIWPW.

  1. Fear burns brightly but burns quickly

  2. People are unlikely to innovate

  3. People are humans, and humans make mistakes - but we’ll lose the ability to own and learn from the mistakes if we’re fearful

  4. People will only present good news, and we’ll miss the real opportunities and real data that allow us to make better business decisions

  5. There are always more problems than we can solve, and problems represent opportunities. If we’re not dealing with problems because of fear (or even owning up to them), then we’re losing out on opportunities - and that’s not good for business

  6. A blame culture will ensue - meaning we’ll be looking for people to blame, rather than looking for systemic levers to pull. Here’s a vide on systemic levers.

  7. Fear drives away good people who have career options. Good people get results, so without them it’s likely a leader will get worse results long term. This often spirals to more fear, and pretty soon it’s a terrible place to work.

  8. People will put walls around their work and protect everything. Silos form and it gets harder to do cross department customer work.

I also create a new word and muse on the 8 hours of football I have ahead of me today. I also explain that we can overcome fear with kindness and empathy - and lead to compassion instead.

Until next time.