How Can I Be a Better Leader?

by Dave Jackson

Ugg.  One of the greatest fears most people have when confronting a team is having to lead them.  Face it.  Most people are followers.  My wife was elbowing me about a week ago when we were at a fair and some of the businesses had these beautiful pens laying out on the table, obviously – to me, anyway – to take as a souvenir.  I jumped right in, and after I did, many followed.  But none wanted to be the first.  We’re wired this way.

Churchill said, “Courage is rightly considered the foremost of the virtues, for upon it all others depend.”  Ah, yes.  I can hear him saying that.  And he showed how systematically developing deep down qualities of unflinching courage is probably the fundamental prerequisite for leadership.  You have to go at it like memorization.  Over and over.

It’s fear – or the lack of courage, I suppose – that is responsible for most failure in management.  Take “Kitchen Nightmares” on Fox TV, for example.  Chef Ramsay shows that most managers simply lack the courage to face up to the problems in their restaurants.  But it happens in life, too.  I see many times people slip off into depression because they don’t want to face how life is right now.  It’s the fear of reality.  But this fear is what holds you back!

So how do you get rid of fear?  How do you snap out of depression?  Let me tell you one thing I’ve found great about fear and that is that I had to learn it.  That’s right – I wasn’t born with fear.  And since I learned it – guess what?  I can unlearn it.  When you eliminate fear and doubt – you can do more (just sit and think), you can have more and be far more that you are.  Isn’t it fear that gets in the way of all of your plans?  Remember the last time you were going to do some great dream project?  Why didn’t you start?

I like what I heard at a Tony Robbins event – What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  Wow – that’s real powerful.  Think on that one – write down some of those things.  What new goals would you set?  One of my dreams is to live in one of my dream destinations for six months – then move to another, and another.  Imagine:  London, Lisbon, Madrid, then Milan, Rome, Dubai, Rio, Singapore, Hong Kong…

If you had no fears at all with regard to money or criticism of others, just what would you do differently?

So where did fear come from?  Well, I know babies have only have two fears – I can think of – the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises, no?  Everything else after that we learn as we grow up – a lot of times as destructive criticism from our parents.

How’s this scenario?  Kid is curious and messes things up.  Parent scolds kid and punishes them.  Now eventually – let me know if I’m wrong – the kid develops a pattern of fear connected with trying anything new or different.  So as adults we know this “fear of failure” right?  Fear of risking, making a mistake, of losing.

Decide today that you are going to set a goal as if you knew you couldn’t fail.  I want you to literally begin to act on this goal as if you knew for certain you would not fail at it.

You will surprise yourself how successful you can be!

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1 comment

roni November 2, 2007 - 11:26 am

This is so true!
I constantly have to check myself when dealing with my oldest son. He, of course, is bold, full of curiosity, wanting to try everything -full of ‘boyness’!

He’s only 9 though, so I struggle with the foolish decisions I see him wanting to make (“If I jump off the roof I think I can turn just right so I land on my feet”). Yet, I want to encourage him to LIVE – be free to be all God made him to be.

And me too – I want to be all God has made ME to be!

Love this post!


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