What Are Your People Afraid Of?

This whole idea of an entrepreneur…what definition should we use?  Within a company, perhaps it should be called “intra-preneurs”… Regardless, the traits we seem to attribute to this idea seems to the same.  These people take risks, they start something new, they never quit, they get the needed resources, they sell a vision, they take responsibility for success or the failure…

If we want any of the above from any part of an organization (including from us), if we’re really honest, we have to battle fear.

Fear that we’ll be found out, that we won’t succeed, that we will succeed, that people won’t like us, that someone will be mad, that we’ll get in trouble, that we’ll fail or flounder or not be whatever we think we should be.

Here’s a few questions to ask yourself:

1)   Do I really want others to act as entrepreneurs?  Really?

2)   Do I want others to act without fear?   If not (i.e. you want them to fear something), what do I want them to fear?  Not to fear?

Stop here...until you’re really clear.  It may take awhile.  It did for me.

Now what?  Depending on your answer, could you take another step?  Could you ask your most trusted team members:

  • What are people afraid to tell me?
  • What decisions are people afraid to make that they should be making?  What was in the way of making the decision?
  • Where do you need my help?  The help of others?

Facing fear, and helping others to do so, is a key to so many things.  In perhaps an odd way, I find it encouraging to know that Paul battled fear – after all, he had a growing organization in Acts that he was trying to care for.  I wonder if we could encourage ourselves and others in the same way God spoke to Paul:

 “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent, for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you…”  Acts 18:9-10a (NKJV)