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24 2011

What Are You Afraid Of?

Syndicated from: Change Bytes

On March 11th an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude rocked the Tokyo area, followed by a tsunami of Biblical proportions, and just this past week 'super tornados' (966 in the Month of April to be exact) rained down destruction on southern US neighborhoods resulting in catastrophic damage. In Canada gas prices have soared to over $1.35, and just a few days ago, US Special Forces found and killed Osama Bin Laden!What in the world is going on? Change is going on, and it's reverberating around the globe at lightening speed. The recent tumble of middle east dictators, a phenomenon that most political pundits would never have predicted, is another graphic example of how life as we know it can change on a dime, leaving the populace to wonder... what's next? The classic reaction to unexpected events is fear, and, like those caught in natural and economic disasters, the fear of change also has a business face.   During a change initiative, fear can be seen on faces at all levels of the organization.For leaders fear can mask as:Risk aversion Intense focus on short term results Self-imposed isolation Sleepless nights   For middle managers fear camouflages as:Doing only what is expressly required by leadership Driving crisis upward to leadership                    Privately - overly critical of peers and leaders Reluctance to "speak truth to power"  At the lower levels of the organization fear produces:Diminished engagement and productivity An overly active rumor mill designed to create meaning and context Increased absenteeism and turnover; voluntary and involuntary Defensiveness and resistance around performance evaluation   When have you seen these faces in your organization? Maybe you see one of them in the mirror every morning. It's a challenge to stay centered at work when all around you seems to be in flux. It takes courage, and a healthy dose of hutzpah, to move forward when the way forward seems to be shifting beneath your feet. Calm in the face of a storm requires calm in one's heart of hearts. How would outcomes for you and your team or company be different if fear wasn't playing such a large role? How can you find your center and be a change catalyst in the middle of it all?Remember, you can change it...we can help!

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