How To Overcome the Fear Gap

For any organization to move forward, they must possess a clear and clarified vision. Even though many organizations do have a clear vision, they fail to reach it. Why?

It’s what I call The Fear Gap.

The distance between the you-are-here point and the vision of where-you-should-be point is what I call The Fear Gap. The farther the vision is from the current status quo, the more room there is for fear to enter and cause us to retreat from accomplishing the vision. We have the potential to interject our personal and organizational fears into this gap, which leads to action paralysis.

What Causes This Fear?

A large part of avoiding or overcoming The Fear Gap is knowing what triggers this response with us.

Increasing Trust and Trustworthiness: Practical Tips for Growth

Roughly half of all employees don’t trust their leader. That statistic is rather shocking when we consider trust is the foundational piece of any working relationship.

Distrust leads to expensive and sometimes terminal problems. A recent Harvard Business Review poll revealed that the terms most used to describe an environment where trust is lacking as “stressful,” “threatening,” “divisive,” “unproductive,” and “tense.” When asked how a high-trust work environment feels, the participants most frequently say “fun,” “supportive,” “motivating,” “productive,” and “comfortable.”

Trustworthiness is the ability for others to confidently rely on you when they are in a position of vulnerability.

Here are 7 practical ways to increase trust.

Building an Organization of Influence by Developing Human Capital

"The most valuable of all capital is that invested in human beings."
Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economic

There are many ways a company can invest its capital: land, equipment, research, development and more. Your organization can go the “cause route” by investing in charitable efforts to promote your social consciousness. Yet one investment is more foundational than all of these, which is the investment in developing the people in your organization. While this investment may seem to be a given, recent trends have resulted in many organizations reducing their human capital investment percentages, trading them for perks and bonuses to the employee. While these are not bad, when they take away from an organization’s ability to increase the potential of its employees, these perks (like a new office chair, expanded food services, and other short-term investments) are actually robbing the individual and the organization.

Investment in the growth of the individual does not expire, unlike the office chairs, which will go out of style or trends in office design (remember cubicles or even themed breakout areas, anyone?). When you build the person, they carry that investment with them the rest of their lives.

Elastic Leadership

An elastic leader is a leader who has a natural leadership style but can stretch to fit the specific needs of his or her team. The elastic leader is the opposite of a one-size-fits-all leader.

An elastic leader is necessary to cultivate a great team. A team’s leader must adjust his/her leadership style depending on the makeup of the team, style and phase of the project. For a team that’s in crisis mode, a more directive leadership style is needed. Where there are mature team members repeating a project that has been successfully completed before, a more hands-off, coaching approach is needed to allow team members to grow.

Raising Up Leaders Part Five

In order to assess whether a potential leader has the competency needed for the role for which he or she is ultimately being considered, these competencies must be clearly defined. Without these clear definitions, there is no real target or yardstick by which to measure. Some leaders do this by “gut intuition,” but they are really operating from a set of competencies that are merely unwritten. The danger in this is that no one else in the organization can help the leader assess potential leaders because others can’t typically tap into the leader’s “assessment powers.” Documenting competencies allows for clearly assessing leadership potential and helping the prime leader identify future leaders. 

Raising Up Leaders Part Four

Finding charismatic potential leaders to develop involves paying attention to how they interact with other people; the traits that make up charisma are positive and appealing to others.  

The charismatic person uses his/her skills to influence others. If you can’t relate to people, it is impossible to lead them. 

Our models of charismatic people tend to be larger than life public figures, but every person possesses the ability to improve his/her charisma. For some this improvement will come very easy because of their natural wiring. For others, charisma can be improved at a much slower and more intentional pace because of personality traits. 

Raising Up Leaders Part Three

In our series, Raising Up Leaders, we have discussed that 51%+ percent of any great leader’s job is to develop new leaders. This process of raising up leaders is VITAL to any organization’s long-term success.

Let’s dive deeper into what you should be focusing on when selecting WHICH future leaders to invest your valuable time and energy on.

First, a question to ask:
Which of these is the MOST important quality for a future leader to possess?

1) Charisma

2) Character

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