Optimism is foolish when it makes light of challenges.
A little overconfidence inspires courage, but swagger goes wrong when it makes light of hairy beasts. Go ahead and overestimate your strengths a little, but don’t bolster courage by making light of challenges.
Making light of challenges devalues winning. Successful leaders don’t make light of how much work it takes to win.
4 benefits of looking the beast in the eye:
- Respect. Teammates respect your ability to assess realities. It’s difficult to trust leaders who pretend things are better or easier than they are.
- Honor. Commitments are honorable when you choose to shine lights on hairy beasts. Minimizing challenges diminishes the value of grit.
- Connection. Relationship is more relevant when obstacles are big and teams need to pull together.
- Preparation. The danger of minimizing challenges is lack of preparation.
If winning was easy, there’d be fewer losers.
Courageous leaders rise up and look challenges in the eye.
7 ways to look the beast in the eye:
- Create four options before choosing one path forward.
- Believe in your ability to learn, grow, and adapt.
- Remember times when you rose up and faced big challenges in the past.
- Respond to your fear of losing by developing strategies and taking aggressive action. The fear of losing your reputation enables you to face the lesser fear of looking the beast in the eye.
- Think more about taking action than doing everything perfectly.
- Hang with men and women of valor. Listen to people with battle scars. Doers are better than dreamers when it comes to looking the beast in the eye.
- Worry more about the next play and less about winning.
Leaders who make light of challenges are unworthy to lead.
How might leaders look the beast in the eye?