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Attitude: Making Fear Work For You

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you use fear as a catalyst to enhanced performance. Reading time: 2:47

            In the 1979 movie The Great Santini the fighter’s pilot’s son asks his dad if he is afraid when he flies. The fighter pilot replies: “Hell, yeah, that’s what makes me such a great pilot.”

            Leaders make fear work for them.

Robert Duval as The Great Santini making fear work for him

           Their fear becomes a catalyst that forces them out of their protective cocoons and into the Butterfly of their Being. There on the wings of fear they soar higher on their flight to success.

          In fact the word –Fear– comes from the Old English word (Faran) which means “to go.” So when you fear, you are on the go (GOal-setting)

         Tha’st why I like to think of fear as a wake up call that forces you to get up and GO in response to change. I think of FEAR as an acrostic for:

 F-E-A-R:   Forcing Experience And Response

Fear forces you out of your comfort zone.
Fear forces you to confront new challenges.
Forces you to address new opportunities.
Forces you to learn more how to reach your potential to turn the proverbial acorns in all of us into sturdy oaks.

         Indeed, as a force, fear can either paralyze or supersize your performance. But in any case fear will force you to experience something new, something different,something unexpected and trigger a reaction, trigger a response, trigger a Go or No-Go decision. Without fear, we would not be able to grow notes Joshua Liebman in his book Peace of Mind:  “If we were to take away man’s capacity to fear, we would  take away his capacity to grow since fear is often stimulus to growth, the goad to invention,”

Without Fear We Couldn’t Make Decisions Or Even Survive

        Author Taylor Clark echoes that focus on the Fear Factor as a stimulus to our growth and success in his book Nerve: “There is no cure for fear, nor should there be one. Fear is good. It protects us, gives body and character to existence, points us in the direction of what we value. We couldn’t make decisions or perform our best or even survive without it.”

        With fear, we are ever more vigilant to changing conditions. With fear we become more aware of our surroundings that stirs our competitive spirit. With fear, we learn how to capitalize on our strengths and minimize our weaknesses as we grow toward a new more exciting, more rewarding future, adds Taylor Clark in his book, NERVE.

       Small wonder that Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel and author of the book  Only the Paranoid Survive, says that “fear plays a major role in the marketplace.” And in great pilots (a.k.a. leaders).

Today’s ImproveMINT

Think of fear as a force that keeps you vigilant to change to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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