Fearless Leadership

I was doing a session for high potential leaders in one of the world’s largest banks. One of their senior most executives was speaking ahead of me. As he was closing, he said, “There is such a thing as fearless leadership. Most people do not have it. Most of you do not have it. You usually find it in a single, short moment. When you obtain it, it will change you forever. That is why we have you in this program. We want you to become fearless leaders.”

I went on and taught the fundamental state of leadership. As I was finishing, I wove in the notion of fearless leadership. I taught them that when they enter the fundamental state of leadership they become fearless leaders. I asked them to explain the connection. Some of them saw the connection, and important insights were shared.

As I finished the senior most person started a conversation with me. I asked him to explain what he meant by acquiring fearless leadership in a moment. He told me a story.

In the middle of his career, a head hunter told him that he could get him a job anywhere because he was so respected in the industry. He went home but could not stop thinking about the statement. He asked himself, “If that is true that I could have a job anywhere, why do I ever respond to political expectations, why do I not respond in completely authentic ways with my superiors and always tell them what I really think is best for the company?” From that moment he began to do so. Instead of getting fired, he found that he became more valued than before. He became a fearless leader and it has propelled his career.

 

Reflection

  • What is the difference between a leader and a fearless leader?
  • Why do few people practice fearless leadership?
  • What does it mean to obtain fearless leadership in a moment?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?
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