Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Are You Generating Fear, Thus Blocking Reality?

Confronting reality and challenges generates tough decisions. Many bosses avoid all of this by generating fear so the troops stick to the status quo. Many macho, loud managers are actually wimps using fear generation as a shield so they don’t have to face the tough decisions.

In the 1990’s when I was at Microsoft working for Bill Gates, I was totally impressed with how he made sure people had no hesitancy facing and tackling reality. In every business review with Bill, your first PowerPoint slide had to list the Lowlights: not the Highlights, the Lowlights. In most sessions, you never got past the Lowlights slide. Bill wanted to face reality, confront problems, spot missed opportunities; and then find solutions fast. Typically you never got to your Highlight’s slide, which had to be at the end.

How do bosses generate fear, thus causing people to cover up problems?

Here are a few ways:

1) Get very angry at folks who bring up problems; inferring stupidity and incompetence.

2) Never get involved in a problem; just tell the subordinate to make it go away.

3) Hold grudges. People who bring up problems are branded as weak permanently.

What do YOU think generates fear? Any rich examples our readers can learn from?

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