Fear is defined as something or someone that is ‘unpleasant’ and considered ‘dangerous’, likely to cause pain or a threat. Oftentimes fear manifests itself in different ways. Sometimes fear is obvious, but other times it masks itself as something familiar.
On the positive side, fear allows you to grow, not only individually and collectively, but also as leaders. While everyone’s fears are different, understanding these differences allows you to be more effective in your Branch. In his book titled ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’, John Maxwell provides insight into the topic of leaders and fear:
“Some leaders are afraid if they’re not in control of everything, it means they’re not doing their job. They fear others will criticize them for shirking their responsibilities. The bottom line is they fear they will lose their jobs. Some leaders believe their employees are not competent enough to do the job, so they never delegate anything. They fail to realize people grow into delegation by being given a chance to perform, make mistakes, and learn from them.”
Where do you as Liberty National leaders fit into this equation? You all have to take personal responsibility for your fears and how you react to them. You must also realize that just as you hold on to your fears, so do your team members.
Liberty National Life Insurance Company has a simple tool to help you not only be aware of these fears but confront and overcome them. The minimum realistic and optimistic sheet (MRO) identifies the ‘wants’ and develops the activities needed to achieve them. This simple tool allows you as leaders to ask questions about why an individual may choose to stray from the plan that leads to the fulfillment of his/her dreams. People want to succeed, but they need to be held accountable for that success. Steven Covey, author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, calls this “the beginning with the end in mind.” This means in order to reach a future or common goal, you must have unity from the beginning. This includes addressing your fears as well as sharing your hopes and dreams with your team members to create a positive culture. A huge amount of energy goes into recruiting your team. If you don’t continue to invest in your own people on a daily basis, you may allow failure to conquer you. Putting an emotional investment into a team of individuals is not easy, but absolutely necessary.
As a great leader, it’s imperative to focus on the future good while combating your individual obstacles and the obstacles your team members face. When you instill hope beyond fear and hold people accountable for their dreams, you achieve your own. This balance of hope and fear is a common thread of great leaders from different industries, companies, cultures, and countries.
What are you doing to motivate your Agents to achieve their goals and dreams?