Everybody has fear. Fear will drive you to completely change your life. It can also paralyze it. They say that your entire life is defined by two emotions (disguised by many different ones), and those emotions are Love and Fear. Fear can take the form of sadness, anger, hatred, anxiety, stress and seclusion. Love takes the form of empathy, learning, helping, understanding, joy, excitement, and gratitude. But we also know the way that incentives work in life. You are more likely to respond to fear of loss, than you are to the joy and fun of excitement.
There is a common study that is very popular, in which many people were tested in California. The study involved some degree, that the participants would perform some task, that wasn’t extremely difficult to do, but required some time and emotional involvement. One group was incentivized by by $500, and the other was incentivized by not losing $100. Low and behold, the people who were going to lose $100, outperformed the others, on every test. Thus, fear is extremely powerful. EXTREMELY.
But, how can we make fear work for us? Nobody can second guess how Hitler came into power. He was manipulative, forceful and to be feared. His method of rule, is through direct physical fear. This, is why Hitler was not smart. Fear can prevail for a long period of time. How else do we get employees to stay at our companies for 40 years (they fear losing their jobs, fear unknown and many other things). Why are sales jobs so undesirable? For a sales job, by nature, it is implied that you must harness skills that most fear to do. It can be the most lucrative position, as most salespeople are millionaires than any other profession. Why then do so few do it? Cold calls, face to face meetings and having to sell, is really uncomfortable for people. An emotion, blocks millions from making their worth and achieving everything that they want.
How can we make fear work for us? How can you elicit the strong response of fear, without leading through fear? After all, producing more tyrant’s, power mongers and control freaks is not what I am after. In fact, this will destroy your company, if you lead it with an iron fist. Now, by iron fist, I don’t mean that being a disciplined business owner is a bad thing. I mean the opposite. Business owners that rule through fear, are trying to use it, as they greatly lack in many areas, they are 100% compensating for the deep seeded lack of that emotion. They have to rule their organization this way, because of deep seeded kernels of fear. this can end up becoming the downfall of their business.
It is usually so deep, and engrained in them from childhood, that they have no idea, the outward fear the they project. This outward projection of fear, can derive from things caused by the organization, and it can derive from things completely outside of it, or become a combination of both. the bottom line, the organization runs on fear. By this, I mean that in today’s modern pyramid shaped organizational structure, with 1 CEO, and 1 leader, emotion trickles down from its leader- this defines the company. You can be successful with fear in your organization (Steve Jobs) or successful with fun (Richard Branson)- it doesn’t make a difference. But extreme fear will kill your organization, undoubtedly.