Fear Is A Choice!

We are regularly asked to deliver team development for leadership teams that are great at managing, but less great at leading.

Here are some “red zones” we find are most in need to team development support.

Sound familiar?

Leadership teams often spend lots of collective energy polishing things that already exist. They seek efficiencies and lowered risk in known processes and existing products in the service of near-term targets.

They are also great at judging the efforts of their subordinates and the performance of their suppliers.

They are less confident about engaging into important and maybe difficult relationships inside and outside the team. And they are not confident about creating, simplifying and clarifying a collective view of the future. Or inspiring and energising their people for a risky journey.

These areas are difficult, scary and counter-intuitive to those with a management mind-set.

And yet, these areas define important chunks of what organisational leadership is all about.

What is going on!?

A number of things usually.

A lack of understanding about what leadership is about.

And fear.

Individual fear about “being found out” and a fear about engaging into real, challenging and creative dialogue. And collective fear about how to make sense of, and act decisively in a complex, unfolding environment.

The red zones!

Have another look at these two diagrams that we use for some of our team development work. The areas coloured in red are those aspects that we often find are most in need of team development support.

How much of your team’s collective energy do you spend courageously and productively in these areas?

What are you scared of? 

Fear is a choice.

What is on the other side of your fears?

What will you now commit to doing?


Dave Stewart

Managing Director, The Fresh Air Learning Company