What We’re Afraid of And Why

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“Well, it’s amazing how little anyone worries about whether they’re going to close a deal, or whether a client might stop working with them.”

          –     Patrick Lencioni, in “Getting Naked; A Business Fable About Shedding The Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty

It’s a sign of a healthy organization.  Not fearless.  Without fear.

You think I’m picking nits don’t you?  I’m not.  Well, technically, in the English-language-definition view — I sorta am, but bear with me.

I equate fearlessness with revolutions, and, to some degree arrogance.  “What could go wrong?” the fearless person says, as he rides off on horseback to tell the British that he ain’t gonna pay no more tax on his tea.  (Back around the fire, the more well-reasoned team members are saying, “Hey, you gotta love ol’ Jerry’s enthusiasm, but we should probably get us a plan before we ride off half-drunk to tell the King to pound sand…”)

In other words, I attribute a healthy lack of fear with preparation, evolutions and meaningful change and, to some degree, confidence.  “Hey, let’s don’t get stupid,” they say.  “Let’s get four or five people watching the harbor and find out which gates are the least guarded.  Anna, you check with Jim at the Port Authority and find out when the next tea shipment is coming in.  Reggie, you get twenty people, 5 big, muscular types, 10 who can run like the wind and 5 who have a little bit of both going on, and let’s go to one ship when it’s least guarded, and dump all the tea in the harbor!  We’ll be outta there before the King knows the fish are getting all caffeinated!”

In Lencioni’s fable — and you really should read every last one of them two or three times each — he describes, as only he can, the things a healthy consulting firm does in courting and serving its clientele.  He illustrates the way great companies enable their people to make decisions — which, of course, means that they’ve invested the time, energy,and resources to choose people who should be trusted to decide.

Monday is May 4th — Star Wars fans, including The Middle of The Three (aka The Tallest…) — will spend most of the day saying, “May the fourth be with you.”

I hope it is, in an Old-Ben-Kenobi-wasn’t-fearless-but-he-was-without-fear kind of way…

 

 

 


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