Avoiding the 7 Fears behind STUPID Leadership Decisions

I couldn’t believe the stupid comment coming out of his mouth. “I just do not feel like it.”donkey-618972

As crazy as this may sound, too many times leaders make STUPID decisions when all the logic says “GO.”  In this post, I’ll detail 7 fears hiding behind those STUPID decisions.

I have heard many do this over the course of my career but not more blatant than a recent one.  I met with a potential client as he expressed an interest to write his first book.  He had approached me for all the right reasons.  He knew that the book would set him apart, allow him to articulate his ideas clearly and lead his clients in a way otherwise not possible.   When it came time for him to make the decision to go forward, he hesitated and then finally declined.

Let’s review.

  • He clearly saw the opportunity.
  • He assessed it carefully and projected a good return on investment.
  • He sought out a professional to help him.
  • He interviewed the candidate and found them to be a good fit.

You gotta like his diligence to the proven process.  But then he declined.  That is puzzling, unless he overlooked something important. But he had not. He declined for yet another reason.

“I just do not feel like it.”

You heard it right.  After all that logic, the only reason he didn’t go forward was because he didn’t FEEL like going forward.  I couldn’t believe my ears.  Here was a person who claims to be a SUCCESSFUL coach stating that he bases the final decision for everything he does based on his FEELINGS.

I know many would claim that he was just finding another way to say no to my sales approach but it is more than that.  He wanted the opportunity so WHY did he decline?  It was a good strategy.  To decline what you want that makes sense is illogical.

I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings but that is simply STUPID.

It wasn’t that he doubted his decision or that a second look revealed something important.  No.  The logical still stood.  The assessment still made sense.  The only difference was that he woke up and didn’t feel like going forward.  That makes NO Sense. That is not the way LEADERS make great decisions that disrupt the status quo.
But it was the sign of a fearful individual afraid of leading.

FearImprisonsHere are 7 reasons that often hide behind STUPID leadership decisions.

First, he might have been fearful of spending the money. Ideas sound great until we have to deliver on a promise, usually avoiding paying the fee.

  • Letting short term discomfort negate a long term gain with great R.O.I. is STUPID.
  • Be smart, pay the cost of doing business.  

Second, he might have been afraid he didn’t have enough original material to write the book.  That is common as many doubt their intellectual prowess when reaching for a big goal.

  • But when a profession provides a positive, objective opinion, it is STUPID to ignore it. 
  • Be smart, believe in your proven skills.

Third, he was afraid of being exposed as someone only capable of replicating and doubted he was capable of creating.  In other words, he doubted that he had what it takes to seize the opportunity.

  • That was STUPID because he didn’t have to do it on his own. 
  • Be smart, accept assistance. 

Fourth, he was afraid of the real reason for his failure. Hiring a professional could ensure the success of the project and took away his excuses.  He could no longer blame anyone for his failure.

  • Blaming others for our lack of action is STUPID. 
  • Be smart, accept responsibility.  

Fifth, he was afraid of losing his dream. Like many, he has become comfortable with his current circumstances where he lives in the world of “it will be nice when.” Taking action puts dreams and ideas to the test, are they viable or not? So he finds a reason to protect that dream.

  • Living in the dream world and refusing to take real action is simply STUPID. 
  • Be smart, prove the dream is realistic.

Sixth, he is afraid of change.  Many fear change because it is uncomfortable, unpredictable and unsafe.  There are no guarantees and many believe they are better with the known than the unknown.

  • Denying future success because you fear change is simply STUPID. 
  • Be smart, welcome change for the opportunities it creates. 

Seventh, he is afraid of crazy success. Becoming a successful author would have launched him into a new role that he was unsure he could handle so he sabotaged his own success. He might have just been a follower who was afraid of becoming a leader.

  • Choosing failure instead of success may save us some pain, but it is still STUPID. 
  • Be smart, embrace your success. 

The sad part is that I could have worked with him to alleviate those fears.  Instead, he chose the STUPID answer and the mediocre results.  It is STUPID because it makes no sense – there could have been a much better result.  He had a great opportunity to set himself apart but he declined simply because he believed his fears.

POWER Tip of the Day: When you find yourself feeling fear, step back and ask, “What am I afraid of?”  An honest answer will usually reveal an unreasonable fear that is then easily dismissed.

(c) 2015 Murfield International, Inc.

Transform Your Thinking

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I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I work with aspiring and emerging leaders so they can leverage their power to do what followers and critics thought was impossible.   Are you tired of the same sights?  Are you ready to break through to a new vision?   Are you determined to leave your legacy?  If so, contact me today.

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