Overcoming 10 Common Leadership Fears


Audio # 5 - The Fear of People's Opinions

Leadership Fear of Other People's Opinions

The Fear of Other People's Opinions isn't just for lightweights. It affects all leaders.

Today’s fear may seem like a lightweight fear. Don’t discount it though.

The Fear of Other People’s Opinions occurs when we are so worried about what other people think it affects our decision-making.

This fear causes significant, visible damage to your leadership. Yet, this fear masks itself in political camouflage.

Visible Signs Of The Fear of Other People’s Opinions In Your Leadership:

Avoidance - Defaulting to the safer and easier decisions even when you know they’re wrong; avoiding conflict or push back.

Manipulation – Playing the political game of allies and enemies; using the CYA (cover your “butt”) culture to your short-term advantage.

Dishonesty – Lacking the direct communication needed to thrive; sugar coating the truth to save face.

3 Effects The Fear Of Other People’s Opinions Has On Your Leadership

  1. Creates Limits - The Fear of Other People’s Opinions places immense limitations on your leadership. When unhealthy conflict festers, it limits your options. Until this is resolved, you’ll spend all your time making people happy, or trying to look good. Meanwhile, you’ll miss out on the best outcomes.
  1. Leads To Failure - When you create an environment of corporate, political games you increase your risk of failure. Failure can happen in increments. Finally, symptoms over take your opportunities. It's as if there's a plume of nuclear fallout lingering in the air when your team’s culture gets political. If you find your focus has shifted from your mission to worrying about other people's opinions, it enables failure to creep in. If you want a BREAKTHROUGH you can’t lead like a politician.
  1. Signals Leadership Illness – Having the Fear of Other People’s Opinions is like having a fever. It may not kill you (at least not directly, or right away), but it signals illness. The Fear of Other People’s Opinions is like having a 100-degree temperature. It signals there is something wrong. When you get a fever, you’re not completely yourself. Your body can’t perform up to its potential. You spend all your energy “fighting” illness. We need to be healthy leaders, leading healthy teams.

When you’re sick, sometimes doctors want to do a culture to see what’s really happening to you. Do a quick examination now. See if this fear is symptomatic of other leadership illnesses.

Take Your OWN Temperature - Are there areas where you searching for approval and it takes precedent over many other more important objectives?

ASSESS - Are you performing to your potential, or “fighting” something?

CURE - Get clarity. Seeking approval from others demonstrates a lack of clarity. Get clear about where your approval and your satisfaction truly come from.

Take Your ORGANIZATION’S Temperature – The undertow of the Fear of Other People’s Opinions is taking its toll on your organization and your leadership. When this happens the thermometer will register a widespread and viral lack of clarity about the purpose, values, goals, and mission of you organization.

ASSESS - Are you performing to your potential, or “fighting” something?

CURE - Build your team. You’ve just identified the cultural need for a massive team building opportunity!

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


1. Take time to understand the underlying opposition.

2. Compare your findings to the mission and values of your organization.

3. Ask for consensus and renewed commitment.

4. Use this as an opportunity for team building and renewed clarity.

5. Involve key people in your process.

6. Raise awareness of your defined mission objectives. Give people time to settle in and adjust.

7. Take action toward the decision at hand.

I’d love to hear your comments on the Fear of Other People's Opinions.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *