I once worked for a boss who operated from a place of fear.
At times, he could be a really good guy. He was a father and a husband, a family man so to speak. He also had a rough upbringing, plagued with health issues and as a result, took pessimism to an extreme. The glass wasn't half empty; it was shattered and broken beyond repair. He was a man waiting for the other shoe to drop, mainly because at one point or another, it had.
When things were going smoothly at the office, work was great. The environment was pleasant, open, and even jovial. We collaborated, we came together, and we challenged each other in a respectful fashion. We brought out the best in one another and our team.
When something scared him though (an employee made a mistake or someone above him asked a question he couldn’t answer), his knee jerk reaction wasn’t pleasant. Suddenly this amiable person put up a wall. He refused to listen at all, much less to logic or reason and instead spewed out demands, which ultimately lead to future failures. Professionalism and potential solutions went out the window. Instead he micro managed, he berated, and he bullied, because deep down underneath it all, he was scared; scared he’d look foolish, scared he’d lose his job, scared the other shoe would drop.
As a result, morale suffered and we lost good employees. Those who remained shut down and isolated, sending creativity, collaboration and innovation out the window. Poor policies hastily put in place ended up crippling the workplace, and the company as a whole suffered.
When we allow fear to dictate our decisions, we shoot unarmed persons of color.
When we allow fear to dictate our decisions, we shut out those who can help us build a better culture.
When we allow fear to dictate our decisions, we close our minds to creativity and innovation.
We put up walls when we should be building bridges.
We close our hearts to humanity when we should be embracing it.
We deem those less fortunate as lazy and system abusers when we should be creating a system which leads to their success.
We demand and divide when we need to listen and learn.
When we allow fear to dictate our decisions, we hurt ourselves, our country and our future.
It’s time to stop allowing our fears to weaken us and instead let our hearts lead us.
Meghan McCarthy blogs from Cleveland, Ohio. She is the creator of Clean Eats, Fast Feets blog and has gained national recognition for her unique twist on food, lifestyle and accomplishment.