10 Ways Fear Slows Us Down

January 8, 2013 — 3 Comments

iStock 000014446767XSmall 300x199 10 Ways Fear Slows Us Down

“Courage is fear that has said it’s prayers.”

-Karl Barth

Back in November, Dan Rockwell wrote 4 words that have stuck with me.

“Fearful leaders need certainty.”

Try walking around with that in your heart for a month or two and observe.

…Watch leaders you admire.

…Observe leaders you don’t.

…Consider how you respond to situations.

Fear can inform.


Fear can paralyze.

10 Ways Fear Slows Us Down

Fear is natural.  It is meant to slow us down, or speed us up.

Fear shows up in…

  1. Slow decision-making
  2. Revisiting decisions that you’ve already made
  3. Asking for permission, when you know what is right
  4. Waiting to hear what everyone else says before you have an opinion
  5. Pilots that go on forever
  6. Over-stakeholdering
  7. Setting easily achievable goals
  8. Holding on to the “way we’ve always done things”
  9. Needing more data
  10. The desire to convene a task force or committee at every turn
  11. ???.

Every item on this list may need to be done from time to time… in moderation.  And yet…

If these behaviors are showing up in your world, stop and consider.  What is really slowing you down?

The need for certainty can stop progress.

The need for certainty will diminish your power.

Where else does fear drive the need for certainty?

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3 responses to 10 Ways Fear Slows Us Down

  1. Fearful leaders promote even more fear.

    Your followers are a mirror of the way you show up as the leader.

  2. Steve, thanks for adding that. Fear rolls down hill.

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