Why Is Organizational Growth So Scary?

We are consistently looking to create forward momentum: for our company, for our family, for ourselves, for the world. But momentum can be a funny thing. Once we have it, we can be overwhelmed with the fear of knowing what will happen next. The leaders who have seen astronomical growth are those who lean into that fear and use it as a catalyst to create the best possible solutions and outcomes. 

At Leadercast, we’re experiencing a lot of great positive change as we grow. This year, we’ve added a new event, an expanded and re-strategized digital platform, a certification program, and an international immersive leadership experience. Not to mention the new team members and organizational structure so that we can make all of that happen! It’s been really exciting to be a part of this momentum – to see the organization grow and change and take ownership of where the company is headed. 

With that growth and momentum, there are moments that can be riddled with fear and questions crop up about every little thing, which can actually cause the growth to stagnate. 
Are we making the right decisions? 
Are we hiring the right people and personalities? 
Are these strategy choices really going to pay off? 
And most importantly, is every move we make evidence that we are leaders worth following?

But as Seth Godin talked about when he was backstage at Leadercast Live in 2015, fear can actually be the indicator that we’re on the right path. Seth explains that we have to be able to recognize the difference between the types of fear that we feel when we’re growing. The first type of fear is what Seth calls “Darwinian” fear – the fear that keeps us from getting in a cage with sharks or walking from one building to another on a tightrope. The second type of fear Seth describes as “the voice in our head that is heckling us.” The fear that tells us not to show our work to anyone, or not to have that hard, truthful conversation. Knowing the difference between those two types of fear allows us to discern that when Type 2 is driving us, we can actually lean into it as one indicator that where we’re headed is not as off base as our brain may let us believe. 

So let’s answer the question: Why is organizational growth so scary? Well, it’s because there is risk involved. Making decisions requires responsibility, which creates the risk of failure. Hiring people requires changing someone’s life, which creates the risk of leading someone astray. Strategy choices have the potential to change with the times, which creates the risk of building a foundation on sand and not solid ground. And being a leader? Well that’s the riskiest decision of them all, because people will follow you. 

But leaders with great discernment about fear are the ones who end up creating positive change in the world. As Seth says, “Change has a twin sister, and her name is tension.” At Leadercast, we want to create a positive change in the world. So we’re choosing to lean into the fear and the tension and the risk as motivators to make every piece of our organization the best it can be as we grow. 

Will you join us?



Leadercast is on a mission to fill the world with leaders worth following through world-class leadership events, content solutions and resources to grow the impact of leaders everywhere. Learn more at leadercast.com.

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