3 Ways to Lead Positive in a Fearful World
For the past couple of weeks, you’ve read about great leadership truths I discovered from Ed Friedman. The first one we talked about is that great leaders have “a capacity to separate themselves from the anxiety around them.” The second is that great leaders have “a commitment to goals beyond the horizons that everyone else saw.”
This week we look at the third one which is great leaders have “the courage to define themselves within their community.”
Anxiety drives those whom you lead by influence to look short-range. Such a narrow focus creates fear within them. Fear paralyzes their action. Lack of action stunts results. Stunted results decrease sales with less productivity.
How do you vanquish fear among those you lead?
Here are 3 Ways to Lead Positive in a Fearful World:
Courage When You Can
It’s a challenge to act courageously when so many around you are fearful. Yet it’s necessary to Lead Positive.
Courage is best expressed at certain moments; times of high-influence opportunity. Those experiences when all seems anxious with no relief in the short term.
That’s when you Lead Positive and in a break room conversation, recall with courage a similar intersection of danger and opportunity when all turned out well. Or, on a conference call remind everyone with courage of the corporate mission and vision and how focus on it has in the past steered the ship around the mines of fear.
Speak courage when you can, times when your positive influence is most needed.
Control What You Can
In anxious, short-sighted moments, fear runs freely, demolishing innovation and creativity. It seems at those times that the world is out of control, on a collision course with destruction.
Find one thing you can do that creates a short-term, high-impact win. One action that results in a positive, visible outcome with those you lead. Share the win. “Look what happened!” is the rallying cry.
As you do, you discover that others ask, “How did you do that?” Fear narrows their range of mental options to what they can’t do. Encourage them to follow you in controlling what they can; to find one action that will generate a positive outcome. Then go do it.
You define yourself as a leader as you control what you can and inspire others to do the same.
Community Where You Can
Your followers’ reactions to fear vary greatly. Some receive your self-definition with relief and step away from fear. Others choose to follow fear further and disbelieve your positive outcomes.
Create community among those who follow you away from fear. Your courage inspires their courage. Your actions encourage their actions. Both define a new community; a critical mass of folks who team around positive leadership that dispels anxiety, lengthens short-sightedness, and vanquishes fear.
Rally this community. Invest your leadership capital in them. Allow the others to self-select. You go Work Positive with those who will.
You amaze yourself and others as you Lead Positive in a fearful world.