Fear: It’s What’s Stopping Innovation Within Your Team
“Fear is crippling, so why be a demagogue when we want individuals to act on a movement and further it?”
I often talk to authority figures, both big and small, and every once in a while the topic of fear comes around. Many say that a little fear can help “motivate” subordinates and that it is often better to be “feared than loved.” Truthfully, that idea has never sat well with me. Sure you want to make sure your subordinates stay in line and there can be scenarios where individuals have trouble keeping their authority identity in check (i.e. boss/girlfriend, parent/friend) but why use fear to hold onto power and robotize individuals? I am sure Machiavelli would have loved the concept of robotic, fearful followers but in a creative, business atmosphere that strives on innovation, would you still want that?
As Seth Godin recently said, “fear cripples.” If you are in charge of an organization, why would you want your workers to be immobilized by the fear you instill. Fear often clouds our thoughts and keeps us timid. It often curbs expressive behavior, creativity and innovation. If you use fear to program your workers to do exactly what you want the way you want it, then how are you making their job rewarding? Where do you think their loyalty will fall? How are you cultivating great ideas within your organization?
You have to let your team breathe. Create an atmosphere where idea sharing is easy to do and you will soon find that the people you spend hours with have personality and great ideas to share. Think of the untapped resources at your disposal. You need to be efficient, innovative, and creative to make it these days. Engage your team and bring out the best in everyone, now that’s true leadership. After all, we are trying to reach the top of the Maslov’s pyramid here folks.