Fear is not a strategy. In 1929, Walter Cannon described fight-or-flight as a response to acute stress. Fear can have the same affect on companies. A company can fight, or a company can take flight. Fighting makes it stronger, flight impedes its forward progress. Once a company shifts to a lower gear out of fear, it’s incredibly difficult to get back to the agility and speed that they had before. Your company must fight.
Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. – According to Dictionary.com
Fear at a company is typically imagined rather than a reality. Fear of competition, fear of failure, fear of stock plunges, fear of layoffs, fear of profit losses, etc. are all imagined fears that will paralyze progress. Employees can have fear of losing their job, fear of not getting promoted, or fear of not getting the compensation they hope for. If you allow fear to impede ingenuity and entrepreneurial talent, the company that is not fearful will pass you by. That’s when your fears become reality.
If you have fear in your company, it’s pulling you down. If you have fearful employees, they are not being bold and stepping up to the challenges they are faced with. Eliminate fear by learning from failures rather than punishing, by rewarding risks and success, by cutting fear off at the source. Employees that spread fear must be removed. They are the roadblock impeding your company’s progress. Fear is a disease that spreads quickly. Act fast to squash it.
Eliminate fear and your company will steamroll the competition, your employees will be bold and do what is right, and your customers will love you for it.