Overcoming 10 Common Leadership Fears


Audio # 10 - The Fear of Standing Out

Leadership Fear of Standing Out

Have you ever known you should speak up, but you didn't?

The last fear in our 10 Common Leadership Fears Series is called, The Fear of Standing Out.

When you know you should share an idea but you don’t, is it because you are shy? Or, maybe your silence in the meeting is entrenched in the age-old staying…

“It’s better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

What Happens When The Fear of Standing Out Is Present In Your Leadership?

The basic symptom of this fear is silence. Silence leads to isolation. When this fear is present you neglect direct and honest communication. Teams become disconnected. Leaders become isolated. The Fear of Standing Out will steal your life and relationships if you let it.

Why The Pursuit of Great Leadership Can Get In The Way Of Being A Great Leader

Great leadership breaks down when we pursue the mission at any cost and ignore fear. Your team’s full potential will remain untapped.

  • Fear keeps them from sharing ideas.
  • Fear keeps them from sharing who they are.
  • Fear prevents them from sharing joy, love and excitement.
  • Fear prevents them from a sense of belonging.

You can experience Breakthrough Leadership when you turn the Fear of Standing Out on its head.

5 Ways You Can Flip Fear On Its Head With Meaningful, Breakthrough Conversations

1. Believe The Act of Giving Dictates Your Destiny - This is the first key to having conversations that unlocks your breakthrough! Overcoming the Fear of Standing out requires an act of giving.

Your willingness to stand out by giving your ideas will dictate your destiny. If you don’t share, you don’t care. If you care enough you’ll share your ideas. Being silent is not giving.

You’ll defeat the Fear of Standing Out for yourself and your team by sharing your best ideas.

2. Allow The Ebb And Flow of Team Work – Having Breakthrough Conversations works like the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tide. There’s a natural pattern of rising and falling.

Teams function the same way. To be successful your team has to be willing to experience a mixture of rising and falling:

  • Agreement and conflict
  • Vulnerability and trust
  • Anxiety and clarity
  • Confession and permission

This must be experienced both individually and collectively.

3. Invite Ideas Out Into The Open - Can you look around the room and tell where the best ideas are going to come from? Of course not! Are all the best ideas coming from the same person? I hope not! Give people explicit permission to share their ideas.

Invite people to get their ideas out in the open. Make it rewarding instead of risky for people to share. Each person on your team possesses enormous potential.

Your team’s potential grows when ideas are shared.

4. Promote Unity and See Beyond Conflict - Can you see past the build up of internal conflict and fear that isolates the thought processes of most people? You don’t have to coax unity from your team.

Typically, people will not always agree. This is healthy. You may not agree with all people either. This is good. Embrace iteration.

See past the conflict of sharing ideas.

5. Cultivate Direct Communication - The speed of business requires instant communication. Your team needs access information in seconds. This requires a direct path and a clear signal. They need a culture of to-the-point language.

What if your team could move to a style communication that’s faster? It would be like moving from snail mail to instant messenger. Searching the Internet is faster than driving to the library. Calling on your cell phone is easier than locating a pay phone.

Imagine the powerful ideas and innovations that exist once you train your team to have unrestricted connectivity to each other.

Considered the excitement, the fun and the joy of direct communication!

Anyone Can Flip Fear On Its Head Beginning With One Simple Step

Your breakthrough begins with having common conversations with your team about common leadership fears. It’s that simple.

Your first conversation can be with team members who are afraid to stand out. Meaningful conversations begin with meaningful questions that enable disconnected individuals to reconnect.

If you want access to the greatest resources imaginable, you need to lead your team to a breakthrough.

View the complete Audio Library for the more in our series, 10 Common Leadership Fears


1. Begin today be inserting this combination of statement and question. Say this, “Sometimes sharing my thoughts makes me feel uncomfortable. Have you ever felt that way?

2. Be brave. Begin that direct conversation with yourself and your team.

I’d love to hear your comments on the Fear of Standing Out.

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