When It Is Okay To Be Scared

A lot has been written lately about Uber's new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi after he took over at the end of August. It is a fascinating look at a person coming into a role specifically to change the culture and philosophy of an organization. As I was reading, the most interesting part for me was when he announced to his former company Expedia, which he ran for over 12 years, that he was leaving to take this new role. He sent an email to his now former employees stating, "I have to tell you I am scared."

We operate in such a macho world where everyone has to put on an air of having all of the answers. Acting as if you have all of the answers even when you don't. Never to show any sign of weakness. For most people vulnerability is weakness.

Vulnerability is what is needed for teams to be successful though. To admit when you are scared, or don't have an answer shows that you trust the others on your team. If you as a leader can admit things that could be better and even ask for help in those areas, you create the opportunity to actually receive help.

Teams that cower and hide mistakes or known shortcomings are dooming their team to failure in the future. If you are a leader who's team is afraid to make a mistake, will not admit the truth and does not accept responsibility for making it better then you are condemning your team to failure. We can do better. It is okay to be scared that you don't have an answer. Admitting there is something that we don't know gives us the greatest chance of discovering what we need to in order to find the right answers.

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