Friday, September 25

Finding Fearlessness: How To Do It

Dr. Stephen Covey calls it the circle of concern: an outer circle that consists of several factors that people cannot influence such as the economy, security, and inconveniences. And yet, with increasing regularity, more people seem fixated on them at the expense of factors they can directly influence.

In September, eMarketer presented a study that shared why executives love or fear social media. Not surprisingly, almost every executive who valued social media listed qualities related to what they could directly influence: customer relationships, brand enhancement, customer service, employee morale.

Those who feared social media listed things they could not directly influence, such as the unknown, confidentiality, security, and employee productivity among those reasons they fear it. Those fears still remain today.

In every occasion, solutions land in the inner circle while fears fall to the outside.

Yesterday, Jeremy Meyers wrote a post asking how do we address fear? His solution was to offer love and compassion.

While there is truth to the concept, the application isn't always welcome. It isn't always welcome because people who are focused on the outer circle are more likely to consider such gestures with reservation and, well, concern. Sometimes those reservations are warranted. Other times they are not.

Although being overly concerned about the weaknesses of others falls well outside an inner circle (until it expands our own), fearless folks can still help others find fearlessness with clear communication, flexibility, and empathy.

For example, at our company, not every social media or communication program begins with the "ideal" program. We find ways to help companies take baby steps toward "ideal" programs. Simply put, we look for a potential win-win or we move on.

There are no hard feelings if we do. If people aren't willing to meet us halfway, then it's very likely their fears of outsourcing, job security, budgets, results, economic conditions, brand control (whatever that is), customers, etc. are too large for them to take control of their own destiny at that time. There is nothing wrong with that. We don't fault them for it.

How about you? How many fears do you focus on that reside outside your direct influence? The economy? Health concerns? Job security? And what would you do if you weren't afraid?


Jeremy on 9/26/09, 7:30 AM said...

Hey Rich-

I think my point was that love and compassion and understanding peoples true fears is the only effective way to get people to adjust their mindset from things they can't control to things they can control.

The diagram is interesting because the center actually affects the outer ring, but focusing only on the outer ring will not change anything.

Thanks for the follow-up post!

Rich on 10/1/09, 7:21 AM said...


I enjoyed your post so was happy to follow. :)

You're right of course. Empathy is a powerful ally.

All my best,


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