On Fearless Leadership

On LinkedIn, someone asked the question, What type of leadership is most needed by HR leaders?

Here's a type to consider: Fearless Leadership. I got the name from my colleague Bettina Neidhardt who used it as the title of her blog for a few years.

Without speaking for her, what I like about the idea of Fearless Leadership, especially for HR, is the idea of guts. How many HR leaders have you known in your career who had the courage to take an unpopular stand?

Here are a few more aspects of Fearless Leadership:

Have chutzpah: An HR leader has to have the chutzpah (Yiddish for insolent audacity) to speak truth to power and tell the emperor he has no clothes on.

Be true to your self: An HR leader has to stand for something. What are the values of the organization? What is HR's role in seeing to it that the values are referenced in all critical business decisions?

Don't let the SOBs get you down: During one's career, you will encounter people who resist change, who test everything, including your patience. Despite the career risk, Fearless Leaders will take the higher road and tell the naysayers where to go.

Have dash: Don't be timid. Take a chance. Be daring. Put yourself out there.

Such leaders know when it's time to shake the place up and even when it's time to give someone a good solid kick in the posterior.

And a Fearless Leader is not afraid to keep on learning. Figure out who you are in this life and develop yourself, your gifts, your skills. Stay in training. Never stop. Keep growing and challenging your self.

While the focus has been on HR, Fearless Leadership is not just for HR alone. It's for anyone in a leadership role who really want to make a difference.

Stephen Covey once said that "Leadership is a choice, not a position." But many choose not to lead. Rather, they look down at their feet and wait for someone else to stick their neck out.

Yes, leadership entails taking a risk. It takes courage.

Once my dad, a tough WW II veteran and a policeman, said to me, "Terry, You've got moxie."

Moxie is the ability to face difficulty with spirit and initiative. That's a key spice in the recipe for Fearless Leadership.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Monday November 18, 2013


Bibi said…
Terrence I totally agree with you! Spot on indeed! Spirit, 'rare courage', and Initiative is what many organizations today lack and desperately need to keep their organizations performing sensibly! Today many organizations have almost lost their way, and few remember for what purpose they exist, and sometimes, it is just because the leader does not have nerve enough to stand for their own, let alone the values of the organization; sometimes too afraid to initiate and manage change!

Thank you for this post!
Terrence Seamon said…
Thanks, Bibi. Here's to spirit, courage, and initiative!

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