If you work long enough, you are almost guaranteed to work at a “bad job”. This is not simply a job where your skills or schedule (or something else) didn’t work out. Instead, this is a job defined by fear. It may feature disrespectful leadership, restrictive company policies or a cutthroat environment. Whatever it is, you know that the work environment is not good for you.
Have you ever wondered what made that place so bad? Fearless Leadership: Unlock Success Using the Secrets of the Brain has an answer for that.
What is Fearless Leadership About?
In Fearless Leadership, author Richard Varey argues leaders exert a larger influence on the workplace than their job descriptions might suggest. The book warns how the wrong leaders can negatively influence the mental environment of the people who work for them.
Fearless Leadership argues this influence begins in the brain, but it ends up destroying the company’s profits.
This is how it happens.
The human brain deals with fear quickly and effectively. When the brain interprets something as threatening (a tiger, a coworker we don’t like, a notice of dismal, etc.), it responds with three primary reactions: fight, freeze, or flee. Our body makes a split-second decision. Our bodies release hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol) and we deal with the situation. Problem solved.
The downside to this system hardwired into our brain is that it works the same, no matter the threat. It doesn’t matter if you are running from a tiger or getting fired, your brain still release the same chemicals. You still have the same reaction. These reactions may have been perfect for surviving the unpredictable and often dangerous environment of the distant past. However they may not be so effective in the modern day workplace.
Yet, there are still leaders who trigger this set of fear responses in the workplace. Leaders might yell, make fun of people or do other threatening things to those who report to them. These leaders believe they are helping the business, but it’s just the opposite. They are destroying it. In this kind of environment, a worker’s brain focuses on escape, not on productivity.
So how do you stop this? Fearless Leadership calls the answer — not surprisingly — the “Fearless Approach.” The approach on promoting three simple qualities in the workplace: resilience, relationships, and commitment to excellence. By utilizing this Fearless Approach, leaders can safeguard their workplaces against fear.
Varey is a secondary school teacher, speaker, and business owner of Fearless Leadership, a consulting agency for leadership and training development.
What Was Best About Fearless Leadership?
Although the book’s stated goal is to create “fearless leaders”, it focuses more on the idea of how to create a stronger workplace. Fearless Leadership provides strategies and an assessment tool for any leader to refine and sharpen the relationships in his or her teams — even if you believe those relationships are already good.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Fearless Leadership claims to be about removing workplace fear, but the book’s focus is actually on the opposite. It focuses on what leaders need to put into the workplace. This emphasis on the leader is important, but it is only one cause of an unproductive working environment. There are still other issues such as lack of diversity, that might be holding your business back from being all
Why Read Fearless Leadership?
Fearless Leadership is designed for the leader who needs to fix a toxic workplace. The book helps leaders assess their own contribution to that toxic workplace and provides a comprehensive strategy for a fresh new start.
Fearless Leadership is also designed for the leader who wants to refine his or her leadership skills. The book gives a multi-faceted approach that lets leaders figure out where they might need to improve and what impact this should have on the workplace.