“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
God wants us to live fearlessly. He tells us this in Scripture over and over again.
“Do not be afraid.”
When God repeats himself, I take it as a good sign that I should listen. It’s clear that He needs us to go “all in” as we utilize the talents and abilities He blessed us with. So, that’s step one of trusting in God’s plan. Going all in on our own behalf.
Step two is going all in on behalf of others – creating an environment that drives fear out of our homes and workplaces, so that no one within our sphere of influence is held back by anxiety or trepidation. If we are to truly lead Jesus’ way, we need to take His cue, and make “No Fear” our mantra as well.
What would it look like for your team members to live fearlessly each day of their lives – to come to work each day and thrive inside of your “No Fear” atmosphere?
- Endless innovation. When people aren’t shackled by fear, they allow new ideas to surface. They offer up improvements that take your organization to new levels of performance. They take appropriate risks and develop breakthrough inventions that can change the world.
- Full transparency. When people don’t have to spend energy putting up a false façade, they are better performers. Everyone is honest about their strengths and weaknesses. People spend more time developing and leveraging their strengths and less time covering up mistakes. When this happens, the team can’t not get stronger.
- Helpful feedback. When retaliation is never on the horizon, team members provide “straight talk” to one another when needed. Everyone benefits. People are also open to receiving — and even actively seeking — feedback for how they can improve.
- Deeper relationships. Do you feel closer to Jesus, when he is telling you to “fear not”, and “don’t be afraid”? Of course you do! When your team members feel the same love and grace coming from you, your relationships with them deepen as well.
- Enhanced performance. When fear is driven out of your organization, all the little ways fear holds people back are also driven out. Forward movement is accelerated, and teams can begin to perform at their highest levels. Business success is definitely an outcome of an atmosphere of “No Fear!”
So, knowing the results of a “No Fear Environment” will be extremely positive, how do you go about building it, as a leader?
- Truly care about people. When your team sees that you genuinely care about them beyond the walls of the workplace, they begin to trust you and release their fear. There is no shortcut, here. Just your commitment to be present and approachable. Get out of your office and interact with your team. Every single day!
- Show appreciation and gratitude. There is nothing more important in building an atmosphere of “No Fear” than making sure you are letting people know how much you appreciate their great work. Your appreciation will drive more great work. Make sure you show up again and again (and again) to thank them!
- Admit your own mistakes. Allow your team to see that you are not perfect, and that you are open to asking for forgiveness when necessary. Illustrate how you dig in, grow, and learn from your mistakes.
- Forgive. Everything won’t always go right. Be there for your team to offer grace and forgiveness when they most need it. Jesus has certainly modeled this for us. Let’s step in and model His way.
- Be vulnerable. Open yourself up. Intentionally ask for feedback from your team members about your performance as their leader. Find out where you need to improve, and then work on improving.
- Repeat all of the above, day after day! An atmosphere of “No Fear” will only be developed over time. Only as people truly get to know their leaders can they trust them.
Jesus got out among the people. He showed them He cared about them as He healed, taught, and loved. His words of “Fear not”, and “Do not be afraid”, and “Don’t worry about anything” are not shallow. They are His promise to us that when we live His way, fearlessly, there will be no limit to our comfort and satisfaction.
You can have that same impact on your team. No fear. Where are you going to start this week?
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.