Fear is a Learned Trait

Some business professionals seem to operate without fear of failure.  They dive into their next task with abandon and don’t worry about the many numerous pitfalls that may reach out and grab them along the way.

Others take the path of always looking in their mirrors for hazards.  The know the traps are there and they have a primary objective to avoid them. Maybe they were raised by parents that were very protective or maybe they’ve been badly burned a couple of times already.  But there was likely some event that led them down the path to cautiousness.

It’s obviously possible to strike a balance but the fearless style is the one that moves practices forward and shakes the foundations of an industry.  A mentor and I were discussing the Social Network the other day.  He’s been in business for awhile and the lesson he took away from the movie was that if Zuckerburg had only learned a few soft skills the entire mess would never have happened and it would have been a win/win for everyone.  The lesson I took was that success can be had in the face of adversity, single-minded focus on a fundamentally different and “right” idea will overcome if executed.

Both are valid viewpoints but reflect different ways of looking at the world.  But that difference in view will also indicate the decisions and management style we both would take.  Understanding that difference can make the journey a wonderful mix.

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