Recently we’ve been discussing perseverance. You can persevere but, as a leader, is there more to consider? Many of the remarkable leaders I work with demonstrate perseverance yet suffer in silence with their fear of failure, taking a toll personally and professionally.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at a variety of perspectives on how to deal with your fear of failure as a leader.
This is part 1 in the 5-part series on The Fear of Failure by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Even heroes have fears. How you chose to manage and is essential for success. Click To Tweet
Of all the challenges leaders face, none is more pervasive, yet hidden, than fear of failure.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
– Robert F. Kennedy
Leadership is a complex and demanding job that requires courage. Your doubts, insecurities, and fears, as a leader, can make organizational challenges difficult and, in extreme cases, insurmountable. No matter how confident you may appear, a crisis of confidence and anxiety can occur at pivotal times in your career.
You must have trusted confidants and a confidential coaching relationship to turn to in these times. Fears and self-doubt are normal emotions that emerge in times of crisis. It’s been said that courage has no benchmark unless one grasps the reality of fear. Fears are real, often strong and quite disruptive, but your response to them defines your leadership hardiness and perseverance. Your true character emerges in how you respond during these times.
Ironically, many of the leaders I work with do not want to admit their failures or their fear of failure. They are afraid of being perceived as weak. Like an undiagnosed infectious disease, however, it can spread quickly. Fearful leaders can debilitate their organization’s ability to function with transparency, compromising authenticity, decision-making, strategic thinking and employee management.
As the leader your organization relies on you to set a vision; provide direction; and implement plans that instill trust, confidence and the performance needed to meet desired goals. You must possess strength and confidence to face these challenges and overcome barriers on the way to success.
In my experience working with successful leaders, the task of managing people, with their various motivations, strengths, and weaknesses, can prove daunting. Organizational dynamics, rapidly changing markets, and tough competition only add to your challenges as a leader.
Even heroes have fears, to some degree. But how they chose to manage and respond despite their fears, ultimately is what is essential for their sustained success.
Fear of failure can sometimes be suppressed, but this is not a sustainable coping mechanism. Developing a mindset and response to your fears or your fear of failure is key to your long-term success as an inspiring, principled leader.
Does this resonate with you? When was the last time you felt the bite of fear of failure? How did you respond? It takes courage to admit it, which is why working with a confidential coach is so advantageous.