Scared? Then, Do It!

Is it ok for leaders to be scared? Yes.

Because we all want leaders who are real, genuine and authentic. If you show no fear in very scary situations, people may wonder if you are real, or if you are lying. If you are scared or afraid, it is ok, perhaps even preferable to let people know you have concerns and see the risks they see.

And yet… as a leader we can’t remain scared. Even if you are scared, you still must lead.

As a leader we can be scared and feel fear, but cannot stop, and be frozen in our tracks doing nothing. We must take action. How do we do that? Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Uncertainty and not knowing is part of the landscape. Thinking on one’s feet is the map. When in doubt, remember who you are and that you are enough. Breathe deeply. Sometimes failures are successes that aren’t apparent to us yet. Be patient. Help comes from unlikely places. Sometimes even in fluorescent orange. Keep your eyes open.

“Oh Shit! Moments” are often done publicly, and they should be. When leaders put themselves out on a limb, even in the face of fear, they send a message to their people that everyone should be pursuing growth. Leaders should relish making mistakes in public–when you show you can publicly acknowledge mistakes made in the effort to grow, people see you as a human being, not a drone, and they will follow you and your lead, and pursue “Oh Shit! Moments” themselves.

The best moments in life happen outside your comfort zone. Resistance, often ugly, is part of the terrain that leaders navigate. Accept it.

Summing-up: If the only reason you’re not taking on a challenge is because the idea scares you, then that’s the reason to take it on.

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