Wednesday, February 21, 2007

five universal fears / the need for clarity in leadership

In The One Thing You Need to Know, Marcus Buckingham (borrowing from Donald Brown) identifies five fears and five corresponding needs which are universal to every member of the human race:
1. The Fear of Death (our own and our family's)-The Need for Security
2. The Fear of the Outsider - The Need for Community
3. The Fear of the Future - The Need for Clarity
4. The Fear of Chaos - The Need for Authority
5. The Fear of Insignificance - The Need for Respect (pp.134-146)

Buckingham suggests that leaders need to focus on alleviating Fear #3, and to do so by providing clarity. He writes,
"By far the most effective way to turn fear into confidence is to be clear; to define the future in such vivid terms, through your actions, words, images, pictures, heroes, and scores that we can all see where you, and thus we, are headed. Of course you may have to tweak your descriptions of the future to accomodate unforeseen cirsumstances, but these tweaks, these small adjustments, must always be commuicated with great vividness. Clarity is the antidote to anxiety, and therefore clarity is the preoccupation of the effective leader. If you do nothing else as a leader, be clear." (pp.145-146)

No comments: