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The Secret to an Unstoppable Business: There's Nothing to Fear

Oct 12, 2007
No other emotion has the same stopping power as fear. Everyone, across all countries and cultures, has at one time felt this powerful emotion. When introduced into the workplace, nothing else saps the efficiency from you or your workers faster than fear.

How than can you make your business an effective and unstoppable force? Gayle Gregory, motivational coach, leadership consultant, and co-author of the book The Grand Experiment: An Expedition of Self-Discovery, feels that the key to an unstoppable business is identifying and eliminating the fears present in the minds of its employees. "The source of innovation is a place of fearlessness where we are not trying to force things to happen," says Gregory.

There are seven fundamental fears present in the human psyche that Gregory feels appear in everything, from our personal lives to our careers. Although the fears are not always conscious, they have a profound effect upon the creativity, interactivity, and efficiency of the working environment. Everyone in the workplace, from those at the top to those at the bottom can find some aspect of all seven fears within them. "The seven fears are universal," Gregory observes.

Gregory challenges that the world is not a scary place, but rather, an individual's own perspective determines their intimidation level. There are thousands of possible ways to interpret the situations presented everyday. How to react is your decision. To dismantle the fear of the world, make a conscious decision to react proactively to a challenge rather than in a negative manner. "The world just is," advises Gregory, "You give it meaning."

To determine the unstoppability factor of your workplace, you must first identify the fears that are present within it. When fear is present, employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, and lose passion for the work they do. Without this passion, your employees' creativity and power of innovation moves elsewhere, away from the workplace, decreasing the force your business achieves. "Go out into the workplace and find out what prevents people from doing their work," Gregory says, "Why are they standing around vending machines having conversations? What are those conversations about? Its all fear based."

Once you have identified the fears of your company, you must dismantle them. At first the process is difficult, as open discussion and admission of individual fears is necessary. However, by taking the initiative and laying the fears out to be discussed, you transform an uncomfortable necessity into a proactive game. "The only thing that holds fear in place is our unwillingness to look at it," Gregory shares, "As soon as you place your fear out on the table, it begins to dissolve and lose it's power."

Gregory, who once held a lucrative position in a Fortune 500 company, left to explore the human condition by sailing to Mexico. Through her own introspection and spirituality, while sailing the Sea of Cortez, she was inspired to apply what she learned to motivate and energize the business world by purging the fears, which she discovered held her and all companies from reaching their fullest potentials.

To gain a competitive edge, your business needs to be perceived as bold and innovative. Fear prevents your company and it's employees from reaching their full potential. In an enterprise where fear is present, internal conflict often diminishes a workplace or department's ability to function smoothly as one contiguous unit.

"We're so busy competing with each other that we forget to compete with competitors in the marketplace," warns Gregory. Simply, a business that is fighting amongst itself cannot also effectively fight its competition as well. Fears that there is not enough resources, time, favor, and other commodities for all breed individualistic attitudes rather than team players and undermine the innovative ability of a team. To stop this, encourage an attitude of even cooperation among your employees. Employees that are afraid to share their ideas or work together cripple the overall productivity of the workplace with their fears.

Ultimately, the unstoppability of your business lies with your decision to expose fears rather than let them rest. A fear kept in the dark, no matter how small, decreases your company's performance. Even if your business achieves its highest visions for the future, you are settling for far less than your maximum potential when you do not dismantle the fears within the organization and individuals. The resulting environment expands exponentially the vision of what you and your enterprise can do. "When you take the fear away, the automatic outcome is you energize your performance," says Gregory.
About the Author
Dr. Proactive Randy Gilbert enjoys producing "Inside Business Success." Jan Schleicher, host, presents her interview with Gayle Gregory, author and leadership coach. You can hear or read the entire inspirational interview for free:
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