In response to the posts on, “Fear,” a reader writes:
“The ‘Fear’ blogs have really hit home with me professionally. As I have moved into leadership positions, I have found that occasionally the fear monster creeps into my life and steals the passion that I have about education right out from beneath me. However, I am learning that it has not always been a negative experience. Each time that I have moved outside my comfort zone, I have learned from the experience.
It is funny that I have realized that you are never too old to learn simple life lessons, such as your seemingly worst enemies can teach you the greatest lessons. Remember that those that fear you will always find a way to point out your negative attributes…and let’s face it, those are the ones that need improvement if you are to become a successful leader. I have learned to work on making the enemy my ally by finding their most important assets, pointing them out to the person, and motivating them to share with others. Negativism can become cancerous to your staff, so why not work on using their power of persuasion in a positive way.”
I have two thoughts that relate to this comment. First, fear is nothing to be ashamed of. Leadership is a huge responsibility. Even in the relatively safe confines of a campus – lives, careers, and futures can hinge on a single decision. Couple that with the fact that the more proactive and aggressive you are, the more you have to rely on incomplete data and information. But as the reader reminds us, there is more growth and knowledge to be gained outside our comfort zone, rather than in it.
Second, I like the idea of using the strengths of your enemies to win them to your side. That doesn’t mean we slow down, but I do understand that an eventual neutral is much more useful than a consistent naysayer.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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