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ARE YOU FROZEN WITH FEAR OF FAILURE? April 18, 2012 (0 comments)


Carlsbad, CA—Fear can be a good thing. It taught our prehistoric ancestors to stay away from hungry predators and today it hopefully keeps us from doing something stupid. But too much of a good thing can cripple us, keeping us from achieving all we can and want to be.

Don Greig, principal of Focus Business Management, wrote this about fear:  

"Let us be brave in the realization that to overcome adversity is easier than to overcome the terror of our own thinking. The strong are venturesome. Only the weak are hesitant; only the hesitant are fearful. Each journey into the unknown--whether business, study, or life--is a victorious conquest. Shake off the shackles of fear and each new venture will bring strength of character, self-esteem, encouragement and progress to the heart and mind."

We become better leaders by accepting leadership challenges and then meeting them. Taking on a challenge doesn't mean blind faith without fear of failure. Being concerned about the outcome is perfectly normal. In fact, a balanced view of the risks associated with any endeavor is vital. A leader who has no fear of failure is far more dangerous than one who understands and respects the consequences that may lie ahead.

So the best leaders are not those who are fearless, but those who are achievement-orientated without blind ambition or unbridled will. They understand that the courage of their convictions can inspire others to perform courageously. Great leaders do something else. They drive the fear of failure out of the workplace. This builds peoples' confidence, gives them freedom to take measured risks, and helps create a more robust working environment.  

Marie Curie believed, "Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood." The courage of a leader, then, is to possess the frame of reference and disposition to have balanced forms of both confidence and concern. Confidence drives us to succeed as much as concern builds the likelihood for it. Often, our greatest leadership moments come when we feel least capable of leading, but still have the courage to go on.   

Bill Boyajian of Bill Boyajian and Associates, Inc. is the author of Developing the Mind of A Leader, and consults for top firms in the gem and jewelry industry. Read his blog here or contact him at (310) 691-9562, email:, or log onto


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