I am on TikTok. Okay, not really. I got the app to find out what all the hype was about and I am disappointed that I still have no idea what to do with it. The same thing happened when I got Snapchat. At least with Snapchat, I posted maybe twice and their filters remain unmatched in the market. The point is, how can I call myself a marketer in a digital world if I don’t know what’s hot? Also, I don’t know what the kids call it nowadays but we termed this FOMO, a word that I am surprised to see accurately pop up on my predictive text. Fear Of Missing Out. It got me thinking of my fears and how they have changed over the last few years.
I read a lot of random articles and the latest one that got into my head was explaining the root of procrastination. It is not laziness at fault but a fear of the negative emotions that would come with the unknown end. A blow to my gut was that perfectionism can be your enemy when you postpone completion in the name of getting it perfectly right. Perfectionism is a form of procrastination. I am always critiquing my work and pushing forward completion dates because I will always think of something that could have been better. It’s hilarious really. After my wedding, I kept thinking of all the things that should have been done a certain way, yet everyone I meet says what a great day it was. Thank goodness you can’t just shift a deadline when it comes to a wedding. I would probably still be planning it.
Held back by the shadow wolf of failure, some of us would rather play it safe, sacrifice learning at the alter of inaction.
According to Mark Divine, a leader’s ability to face his fears is the thin line between an elite team and chaos. A friend told me about a team leader he had who would listen to your idea, ask you if you are sure about it and if you were really confident about presenting it to your client he would back you up. even if it was a bad idea. My friend tells me of a pitch he had that was lacklustre but he was sure of himself and the team leader said, okay let’s present it to the client. Of course, the client was not wowed and hits were aimed at the team lead the most, but that trust and actually facing the client helped him tweak the idea into an amazing campaign. This is what my friend admired the most about this boss- he made sure credit was given where it was due. I have met some people who would rather do nothing than learn in different capacities. Held back by the shadow wolf of failure, some of us would rather play it safe, sacrifice learning at the alter of inaction. Or worse, pass the responsibility to another then play the team card when success is achieved.
A fear that has been pecking at me recently has been the fear of advancement, I don’t think this word quite captures it but it’s the closest I can think of. It was voiced best by a friend of mine who, frustrated by workplace politics, complained that the problem with climbing up the ladder is that there is less focus on work and more focus on personalities. I am starting to see a facet of leadership that puts you in a position of responsibility for other people’s actions whether good or bad. Perhaps as you go up the ladder, you end up using your core skills less as your role moves more towards managing other people’s skills into output. This is a terror for the technician (read E-myth by Michael Gerber) but it must be done. This is just a thought as I really wouldn’t know for sure seeing as I am still on my ladder journey.
A fun fact, the people I have met with impostor syndrome tend to grow the people around them. They are willing to help because they understand how it feels to want help. And they prosper in their spaces.
Then there is the impostor syndrome- the fear of inadequacy. There’s an article that I have been wracking my brain to find. It was a Forbes interview with a female founder/CEO and she explained so simply how she overcame dealing with impostor syndrome. I am sure it was not Sheryl Sandberg. If you figure out who it is and find the article, please share it with me. Back to the article, she said she figured out that she wasn’t the only person in the room who didn’t have all the answers. The fact that she had a seat at the table was justification to her that she had done something right to be there and she just had to keep moving and challenging herself. I have friends and family who are killing it on the outside but on a personal level, you realise that they have their fears too. I admire them for not letting these fears hold them back, for overcoming their uncertainties and pushing through to succeed. A fun fact, the people I have met with impostor syndrome tend to grow the people around them. They are willing to help because they understand how it feels to want help. And they prosper in their spaces. This aspect of people skills is what I use to identify someone dealing with imposter syndrome versus the facade of false confidence and self-preservation.
In his conclusion, Mark posits that the world is at the cusp of a great shift with technology and innovation. What holds us back is the divisions we have amongst us. He believes that the key to surviving and creating a wholesome society is, to begin with the wholesome self. When we make the 7 leadership commitments- courage, trust, respect, growth, excellence, resilience and alignment, we overcome so many barriers that hold back not just ourselves, but everyone around us. I love how he explains the commitments linking into each other:
“Without courage, you won’t trust. If you don’t trust, you won’t get respect or respect others. If you don’t respect yourself and others, you won’t grow. If you are not growing then you won’t express excellence. And if you don’t commit to excellence, you won’t be very resilient. Finally, if you are not resilient then your team will have difficulty aligning to your vision and mission“