People have some interesting ideas of what it takes to be a real leader. Some people think that leaders have to know everything. Some people think that leaders should get the respect of others regardless of what goes on. Of course neither of those are true, but it shouldn't be surprising to understand that leaders aren't always fearless.

Truth be told, most leaders have some kind of fear all the time. The fear might be that they're not sure they have the right answer. It might be that they're not sure how to proceed when problems come up. It might be a fear that they really can't figure out how to get people to do what they'd need them to do. It might be that they're worried that someone else is going to come along and take their job. In today's world, they could even fear that they could be downsized at the suspense of everybody else.

There's never anything wrong with a little bit of fear. I tend to believe that sometimes fear makes better thinkers of us because we have to figure our way out of trouble. There is something to savor being self-assured, but if you never have any challenges it's hard to grow. It's not really about fear not, it's about being able to progress and figure things out either when it's needed or before it's needed.

I think of people who sometimes become heroes in times of trouble. I doubt that most of those people were actually fearless when they step forward, but they got caught up in the moment. Parents who protect their children in times of danger probably are fearless, but have a different sense of obligation at the time. People run into a burning building to try to save a child probably are fearless, but the thinking of someone else rather than themselves when the moment arises. Fear sometimes can be a great motivator, and that's an important distinction than being afraid to do anything at all.

You don't have to overcome your fears to be a leader. You just have to be willing to acknowledge what those fears are, determine how you can get around them or how you can adjust them, and then push forward. Pretty much like you see in the picture above, where for the first time in 53 years I actually touched the cow. For many people this was something mundane, but for me it was overcoming something that I obviously had never done before in my life.

However, I wouldn't go into the butterfly exhibit; there are limits to almost everybody's fearlessness after all. 🙂