Manage Without Fear to Grow

What stops us from changing our thinking, our approach, our behavior? It’s usually fear. Think about it. What truly successful company is doing the same thing today as it was just a few years ago? If those companies were led by people who wanted to keep the status quo, they would certainly start to fail. Been to a McCafe lately? Ray Kroc would have no idea! Driven a Tesla? Just like your father’s Oldsmobile.

Companies large and small that grow and prosper are those that challenge the status quo. They challenge and change their markets – Canon did, Kodak didn’t. Their challenge and change products – Apple did, Gateway didn’t. They challenge and change their branding – Subaru did, Pontiac didn’t.

Fear drove those that did not change. They’re gone.

Great companies (and great parents!) encourage their people to learn, to grow, to challenge the status quo. More importantly, they ask their people to challenge the company: To ask the company why? Why do we do it this way?

Why are we organized this way?


Great companies, large and small ask their people to understand and challenge how things are done. How could we do it better? How can we manage and lead with more success?

Yet many of us do not allow our colleagues to challenge us at all. Indeed, speaking UP is daunting to many. How many of us told our Mom and Dad that they needed to be nicer, quieter, more encouraging, less moody? I know I didn’t! And by the quiet laughter I get when I ask my audiences, I surmise I am not alone.

Ask yourselves: how much do I let fear control me?

What would you do differently if you didn’t let the fear control you?

How encouraging of challenge and innovation is your style – and the culture of your company? Are people afraid to speak up? What would happen if they were just a little less afraid?

More courage. Less Fear. More success. Sustained.

Steve Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or email him at

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