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Ideas to Improve Your Performance
  • Everyone has projects that have stalled. Identify yours and ask yourself what is keeping you from taking action or moving faster.

  • If the answer to the above question is a change in priorities that's fine, but be honest. Even senior leaders hold off taking action due to fear of a negative outcome.



Fear as Motivation


Those of you who read my Forbes article Strategy, Plans, And Running With The Bulls a couple of weeks ago, know that I recently returned from Pamplona, Spain having survived this incredible event. A thought I've had since writing that article is the part that fear played in our successful completion of our run on the final day of the San Fermin festival.


Fear can be useful to us if we are able to manage its impact effectively. In particular, fear of loss. Fear of loss comes in many forms. Fear of financial loss, opportunity loss, loss of the approval of others, loss of market position, and so forth. Most leaders I work with are more motivated by the fear of losing something than the opportunity to gain something. Of course, too much fear may prevent you from action, so it can be paralyzing too. It's not black and white for any of us and we all need to find an equilibrium that feels right for us.


On the morning of the race, emotions in our small group ranged from mildly concerned to quite uneasy. It was a useful level of fear though, and aside from some joking with one another about that fear, it helped us to maintain our focus on completing the run safely (as if such a thing were doable). Others looked to have no fear at all. We observed some of them getting hurt, and a few even tossed in the air by a bull. A dose of fear may have prevented their injuries. Without a healthy level of fear, you can get careless and even do stupid things. Most of the time we think of only the negative characteristics of fear. As it turns out, in the right amounts, it can provide some great motivation.




A Slice of Life Balance           


  • Before the summer ends, reflect on how you've spent yours so far. If you have taken vacations or spent time with friends and loved ones, look at some of the photos you took, talk about what made you laugh, or discuss the experiences you relished. In other words, savor it by doing something that lets you relive some of the enjoyment. And if you haven't taken any time off, you still have a month left.