Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Don’t Want or Need Your Fear

Right before Donald Trump and Mark Burnett launched The Apprentice, I watched an interview with these two powerful producers. The host asked Burnett, “What do you look for in an employee?” His answer, without an ounce of hesitation? “Someone who is comfortable with risk. You can’t do a thing for me if you are paralyzed by fear in the face of risk.”

Here’s the reality. On any given day, your boss, your employer, your clients, they’re scared too. As leaders, their career success has been contingent upon their ability to take risk. Risk is required for innovation and innovation is the name of the game.

Risk is a direct path to fear. If you don’t feel fear, it isn’t a risk. But here’s the key. It’s your responsibility to manage your fear for yourself. Doesn't your boss want you to be honest about your fears? Yes would be the
politically correct answer; No would be the truth. The fact is, fear has this nasty way of feeding on itself. It has the potential to build into frenzied proportions and it can paralyze even the strongest of organizations. Your boss, your investors, and your clients are on the lookout for this.

Big but here—fearlessness has exactly the same effect. Have you ever been around someone who bravely took a risk that made you think, “Could I do that too?” Leaders are always scouting for someone, anyone, who is able to inspire them with a feeling of fearlessness. And mark my words. Fearlessness is something the marketplace values and is more than willing to pay for.

Fate loves the fearless.—James Russell Lowell

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