The True Cost of Fear

Let’s talk about fear…

Not the kind we chase through high-risk sports.

Nor the scary type that has us double-lock our doors.

I’m talking about a subtle but pervasive fear. The kind that whips through your mind as you say yes to working with a client when you’d like to say no. The kind that talks you out of speaking up in the boardroom.  It’s the same kind of fear that prevents you putting your hand up for a promotion and keeps you safe in a job you have outgrown, or hate.

I’m talking about the CONTEXT of Fear. It’s a way of seeing the world that’s been unconsciously adopted and it feels so right and comfortable, we actually think it’s the way life HAS to be.

I see this played out every day in business, but let’s use the Oscars to illustrate what I’m talking about.  Do you remember what happened in 2017?

Global accounting firm PWC made an impactful error. Long story short, two Hollywood greats – Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty found themselves in the middle of an awkward moment, announcing – incorrectly – the winners for Best Picture. American business exec Jack Welch gives a good account of the drama below.

He’s using it to demonstrate how PWC missed a golden opportunity to turn a massive fail into fortune.  It’s a point worth making, but he stops short of explaining how it is, that a global giant, with ready resources, didn’t seize the chance to dazzle. Surely it wasn’t due to a lack of advice!

In simple terms, the key decision makers in PWC were operating from a Context of Fear that had them defend, protect and shutdown. It was all about damage control and saving face. They threatened to fire the people concerned (which they didn’t), the Academy talked of replacing PWC (and they didn’t) and that’s where it stopped.  They didn’t take the chance to look within let alone be responsible for the fear that permeates their business culture.

As business owners, wealth builders and profile raisers, it’s valuable to stand out from the crowd, rewarding to bring joy to the world and essential we make a difference. The key is to explore and become aware of how you’re thinking (context) before getting into the detail of what you’re  thinking (content).

Stop for a moment and consider, where could you be operating from a Context of Fear? And how can you change it?

Great strategy, marketing and business is created within a Context of Love, the subject of our next Episode in The Change Room podcast (landing Tuesday July 10), it’s a way of viewing the world that is expansive, liberated and creative.

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