There is Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself

FDR once quipped, “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

Unfortunately, fear is a temptation for all leaders.

Do you ever find yourself backing down from any of these fear factors:

  • Failure
  • Lack of resources
  • Negative people
  • Lack of momentum
  • Bad economy
  • Success
  • Office politics
  • Gossip
  • Growth
  • Lack of Growth
  • Lack of Support
  • Criticism

Read back through the list you will see that most of those things are beyond your control.

Stop leading out of fear, and focus on your mission and your strengths.

FDR was right … “There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.”

Leadership Begins at Home,


Why do you think so many leaders fear things beyond their control?

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Do You Know the Rule of 7?

A while back I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a college baseball coach.

Something he said has stayed with me and has served as a great reminder to follow one of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – “Begin with the end in mind.”

Start Fresh

The coach has done some digging and learned that in a college baseball game, there is a “rule of 7,” as he called it. According to his research, if you score seven runs you have a 93% chance of winning the game.

So guess what he does? He manages every game with one goal in mind. To get to seven runs.

He told me this clarifies things for him. “Sometimes in the second inning I might have someone bunt a runner over and try to score a single run rather than hoping someone will hit a home run and drive in multiple runs. The percentages are in our favor with the bunt more than they are for a homer. Remember, we are building toward seven.”

Needless to say, this guy has been one of the winningest coaches in the country over the past couple of decades. Why? Because he has a simple plan that has been well thought out, supported by research, and he works his plan.

When it comes to your leadership environment, what does beginning with the end in mind look like? Figure that out and then work backwards and you will be well on your way to success.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What would be the “rule of 7″ in your leadership world?

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Attention to Tension

A while back I was having a conversation with a respected leader who used an interesting phrase. He said he likes to pay “attention to tension,” whenever he is feeling it.

When you stop and think about it, his philosophy is almost counterintuitive – most leaders try to avoid tension.

If you want to be a great leader, I suggest you embrace my friend’s practice of giving attention to your tension.

Leadership, by its nature, will always have those moments where your instincts will speak to you … you will have a “feeling” something just isn’t right.

One leader I know calls it the “cringe factor.” Others call it a leaders intuition. Whatever you call it, don’t ignore it. I think you will find it is much easier to tackle something head on than it is to let it fester.

Tension can be a good thing. It brings great gain to athletes in the weight room, on the track, and in the pool. It can do the same for a leader in the boardroom.

“Attention to tension” – practiced by few, but a valuable discipline for anyone who wants to become a better leader.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What are the consequences of avoiding the “tensions” of leadership?

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