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Exemplary Leadership – Taking The Plunge Into The Unknown While Facing Fears

Written by: Lars Friedrich, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Lars Friedrich

Without a doubt, it's the job of executives and leaders to lead! Therefore, leadership, first and foremost, is about the ability of self-leadership while being aware and recognising personal strengths, but even more importantly, about their limits, weaknesses and fears.

Man in corporate attire standing on the edge of a cliff

And while most executives and leaders are able to lead when there are no obstacles or challenges, leading in the face of fear is undeniably one of the highest testimonies of exemplary leadership!


In today's fast-moving, high-stakes and time-crunched corporate and entrepreneurial business environments, some executives and leaders are always afraid that they will make a wrong decision that will impact them, their team, company, organisation or their business.

Evidently, it's crucial not only to know but also to cope with these job-specific fears, such as making tough decisions.


Because staying in fear will undoubtedly lead to poor decision-making and executives and leaders with their heads constantly in the sand.


And owing to the fact that as part of their leadership role, it's also their job to go out first, even, and especially in the face of the unknown and fear.


So they must investigate the hard things and inconvenient truths, and if something needs to be discovered, they need to find and cope with it.


As ignoring the possibility of dangerous things and inconvenience followed by inconsistent execution can generate catastrophic results.


Without a doubt, whether executives and leaders feign bravery or even sprint back to safety after what they find in the unknown, they must check it out themselves and not send others to do their role.


The fear-setting tool


There are different and multiple approaches to getting accommodated with fear as part of self-leadership and personal development.

And Tim Ferriss, ¹ an American entrepreneur, investor, author, podcaster, and lifestyle guru, recommends a genius tool called "Fear-Setting".


"Many a false step was made by standing still." Tim Ferris

The basic idea is that we can't work with what we can't see and that working through our fearful thoughts to find clarity will put our next step into perspective.


He recommends that to "fear-set", we should:

  • List the worst-case scenarios troubling us as we contemplate taking a big, scary step into the unknown and consider how bad, permanent, and likely it would be.

  • Figure out how we could repair the imagined damage if it happened.

  • Consider the benefits of taking the scary step, how it would change our life and the likelihood of success.

  • Work out what postponing this choice costs us financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically not just today but in the future.

  • Ask what life will be like if things stay the same for the next six months, a year, or five years and know that action is scary, but the consequences of inaction could be even more terrifying.

  • Finally, be clear about what we are factually waiting for, and if we don't have a good and compelling answer, we're probably just scared.


Considering all the mentioned points of "Fear-Setting", the best way to overcome self-leadership fear is to have a growth mindset and get from reaction or an even frozen state into action!


A little external push


But sometimes, even knowing about the genius fear-setting tool, executives and leaders still might need a little external push to overcome their fears and get out of a frozen reactive state.


In her compelling TEDx Talk from 2022, Asbjørg Nesje ² gave the only valid reason to push somebody else in the face of fear.


"The only right reason to push somebody to do something scary is if you can say: I know that you're able to do this and that deep inside you want to, and I know it will make you happy." Asbjørg Nesje

As the reigning "Death Diving World Champion" a form of extreme freestyle high-diving jumping in the women's class, she is undeniably highly experienced and expertly qualified to take the plunge into the unknown while facing fears.


Additionally, Asbjørg clearly states that nobody should ever be pushed too far or forced for the wrong reasons to do something they really don't want to do or that is way above their skill level.


Invaluable practical first-hand insights with so much depth!


Transfer To business environments


And clearly, her insights are 100% transferrable to all corporate and entrepreneurial business environments!


Therefore, sometimes, experienced professionals with proven expertise are hired by executives and leaders to hold them accountable and give them a temporary and much-needed external push so they can "take the plunge" into the unknown while facing their leadership fears.


But most importantly, it is also essential to take into serious consideration if those executives and leaders are ready, willing, and able to take that plunge.


Or as Asbjørg phrased it: "If they want to, it makes them happy and if they have the needed skill level.".


Executing exemplary leadership


As a former leader in the Special Forces of the Military, I pride myself on having brought back everyone alive to their families and loved ones from multiple volatile, fast-moving, high-stakes missions "under fire" in global crises.


I consider this to be the highest testimony and the cornerstone of my skills, experience and expertise of exemplary leadership that I have continuously refined and improved since!


Thus, I am uniquely qualified in the fundamentals of leading and winning under pressure, reducing errors, overcoming obstacles, and taking the plunge when facing unexpected challenges with the accompanying fears of the unknown.


Also, being precisely that professional to give the external push to executives and leaders in corporate and entrepreneurial business environments when needed!


Finally and above all, as a recognised and multi-awarded leadership expert, I solely care about the reality of leadership and not the perception of it by continuously promoting exemplary leadership.


Serving and guiding those who lead and serve!

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!

Lars Friedrich Brainz Magazine

Lars Friedrich, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lars Friedrich is an expert in personal & professional leadership transformations refined with a touch of Zen. As a former Officer & Special Forces Operator, executive in international & intercultural corporate positions and founder of his boutique business, he has vast accumulated experience, expertise & knowledge in leadership, resilience, endurance, commitment, persistence & dedication. Furthermore, Lars Friedrich trained in traditional Japanese Martial Arts for 42 years and frequently travels to Japan for his ongoing tuition, which amplifies his experience. With family ties & homes in Australia, Finland & Germany, he is proudly serving & guiding male & female leaders via shared knowledge & passion.





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