Sat | Nov 27, 2021

Don’t let fear restrict you, say leadership experts

Published:Monday | March 29, 2021 | 12:07 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Two experts are calling on persons in leadership positions not to let themselves be restricted or crippled by a fear of the unknown. This, especially, they said should be taken into consideration when making decisions on how to guide their employees or teams in stressful and uncertain times, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

American journalist and author Paula Faris and entrepreneur Nona Jones made the point in separate presentations during the virtual Global Leadership Summit Jamaica 2021, held last Thursday. The annual summit, which was launched in 2013 and caters to pastors, entrepreneurs, and other business and social-sector leaders, was held under this year’s theme: ‘Igniting the spirit of resilience – Recovering Stronger’.

In her address, Faris said that while the current spread of COVID-19 has created a paradigm of fear, it is important to deal with that fear and not allow it to be a restriction for important life choices.


“Sometimes we choose to change, and sometimes we do not, and many of us in this pandemic have found ourselves in the latter camp where the decision has been made for us. Changing, resetting, and shifting are scary, but change is happening all around us,” said Faris.

“You need to know how to lead through a reset before you can lead others. You are going to be scared during shifts, changes, and resets, but the key is knowing how to deal with and channel your fear,” Faris added. “What are you scared of? What is the worst thing and the best thing that could happen if you went for your goals? You have to give yourself, the people on your team, and your friends and family the permission to branch out, especially in this season we are in.”

Meanwhile, Jones said that retreating into a ‘safe zone’ in response to fear will only result in one’s growth and development being restricted.

“You cannot make a lasting impact while also feeling safe, and as leaders, ‘safe’ is insufficient. If we see difficulty ahead but then we retreat to a place that makes us feel safe, we risk abandoning the challenge that will elevate us to the next level,” said Jones.

“Fear arises out of the perceived risk of loss, and at the extreme ends of fear, we find the risk of losing our livelihood or our life. My challenge to you today is not to act like fear does not exist, because it does, but when you find yourself retreating into the ‘safe zone’ of fear; I want you to see fear as an invitation to preparation,” Jones said.