Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Leaders remove fears

Where there is fear, there is no intelligence: Jiddu Krishnamurthi

Jiddu Krishnamurthi was an influential Indian philosopher, who motivated individuals to think beyond, self-analyse and become more rational as human beings.  He emphasised reasoning: which, eventually made humans more integrated, mature and self-fulfilled.  He did not adopt the discourse style of communication, he favoured mature conversations and group discussions, which ideally would result in improved intelligence, removal of fears and blossoming of leadership at individual level.  

Why do we need leaders?

Why do people need leaders?  Why can't we lead ourselves?  Why do we need to look up at individuals to give us hope or remove our fears?

Leaders fill the void of intelligence, they remove fear... read on and become a leader!!

Leaders: tap potential, remove fear

Fear is described as an unpleasant feeling or emotion caused by the threat of harm, pain or danger.  Fear is a protective phenomenon, makes people cautious, helps avoid unpleasant experiences.  For instance, fear of damage to feet makes a diabetic subject wear protective footwear during work, play or routine movement activity.  Fear of loss of job, makes an employee turn up at the work-spot or work-place on time.  Fear of loss of increment, motivates an employee to learn and master skill sets required to execute allotted tasks. Fear of loss of job or business make a field person approach doctors, pharmacies or other market operators who can help him generate sales.  Fear is a daily routine parcel of emotions that influences behaviour at work, leisure, play, social transactions and family life.

While at one level, fear helps motivate people in the above manner... positive leadership based on intelligence, values and discipline (conformance to standards of behaviour) also generates above behaviours.  While fear based work or social behaviour is associated with unpleasantness in the mind of the individual; discipline and enthusiasm based work and social behaviour is positive and based on a pleasant state of mind.

When fear is removed, unpleasantness is absent.  Removal of fear is a positive feeling (it makes people joyous and people smile a lot!): it is pleasant and comforting to experience a state of mind where there is no fear.  Women particularly get attracted to leaders: because leaders remove fear or instill confidence in them and this comforts them.  Women naturally get attracted to strong persons, caring individuals and capable gentlemen, because these people can provide resources and remove fears: this comforts women materially and emotionally.  Sri Sri Ravishankar is such a contemporary spiritual leader, who removes fears, radiates hope, generates calmness and pleasantness, smiles infectiously and makes people go to a comfortable state of mind.

As per the profound statement of Jiddu Krishnamurthi, given at the start of this article: intelligence helps remove fear. 

Intelligence has two dimensions:

a) actionable information that has high value: for eg., market intelligence is the procurement of market data, information and insights, which helps in making decisions for new product launches, new product categories, new disease segments, new trends and competitor activity.

b) ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills: this emphasises the learning aspect of intelligence principle.  The faculty of intelligence implies capacity for judgement, learning, discrimination, making choices, generating alternatives with knowledge, elan and imagination; wit, reasoning, agility, tact, intuition, smartness, ability to grasp, memory, sharpness, communication skill, negotiation ability and poise among other required traits.  New knowledge is continuously created.  New efficient and timely skills are always valued.  Both knowledge and skills are related to intelligence.  

An interesting example is that as per AIOCD AWACS market intelligence report, in 2013 compared to 2012, the fastest growing segment in Indian pharma industry was ANTICANCER drugs: based on this intelligence, one can angle more products to this segment, ensure better coverage by field personnel of cancer treatment departments and oncocare hospitals etc.  Hence, based on this report,  a pharma company may create new me-too brands for this segment, current brands can be focused to a greater extent on this segment and field personnel may be directed to cover oncocare doctors with new focus.

Leaders make ordinary people do extraordinary things, they empower people and make individuals work enthusiastically and willingly towards goals.  If leaders have to do this they need to remove FEARS in people.  Fear is a major factor affecting work and social life.  These fears may be known or unknown to individuals.  For eg., if a leader manager wants his MR to go to a new territory and work: then various forms of fears play in the process:

a) The MR may fear the hardships/pain in locating the potential doctors and pharmacies
b) The MR may fear the tediousness/pain of travel to the new territory 
c) The manager leader may have apprehensions on how the MR will take up the challenge of establishing the brands in a new territory
d) The MR may have hesitations on availability of products in the new market

It is addressing such concerns or forms of fear that helps make people co-operative and success happen.

So in the above scenario, the field manager ought to ideally provide the information in advance to the MR, with regard to best hotels to stay, most comfortable yet business oriented travel plan, data about target doctors - their meeting times, profile and address; target pharmacies, support through product availability at the wholesaler level, motivating communication and supervision, support on SOS basis at the initial basis... This approach of facilitation will remove the fears of the MR and ensure valuable co-operation.

Training and fear removal

Training is building-in required attitude, knowledge and skills: this naturally empowers people to help them manage situations without fear.  Training is a vital input whose main task is to promote organization-wide skill enhancement and collective confidence.  Training of field personnel, helps improve body language, quality of representation and ensures prospects/customers are given abundant confidence.  This helps retain customers, add new customers, provide "feel-good" factor, improve perceived value of the product or service, raise productivity and improve business results.

Leadership vis-a-vis instilling fear!

Many leaders think the opposite: they believe in creating sources of discomfort and fear so that required behaviours are elicited.  Fear motivates people: this is their belief.  Perhaps it does work at one level - but this is misplaced understanding... a better approach in the work environment is to ensure: discipline makes people work.

There is a difference between creating 'fear' and 'instilling values and discipline' among people.  Leaders can engage people or subordinates better for common results, when the focus is on values, discipline, techniques and work execution.  If the focus is on creating fear to obtain people participation, work engagement suffers, involvement or enthusiasm is diluted and there is temporary co-operation (ie., only till the fear factor works). It also sows the seeds for disenchantment, employee turnover and rebellion.


Leadership is a great necessity in all organizations.

A good leader thus:

a) creates fearlessness through intelligence (in oneself, subordinates, peers and the environment as a whole through systems of intelligence gathering and sharing)
b) empowers people: through skill building, talent recognition, rewards, support, facilitation, conveniences, motivation, training and open environment
c) instills values and discipline
d) provides clear deliverables
e) supports people (does not give a problem to a problem - rather he gives a solution for a problem and does not pass the buck to others - trying to get things off his chest to the other person, passing the parcel or not focused only on bulletproofing himself or herself!)

Today, Mr. Narendra Modiji, PM of India has charted out a positive agenda for Indians: his leadership is instilling confidence (removing fears), focused on efficiency, providing defined deliverables and improving skill base.  This is an example of positive leadership based on intelligence (actionable high value information + skills, learning and knowledge).

Thanks for reading this blogpost, please scroll down and click on older posts, as and when required to read older posts, and kindly do recommend this blog to your acquaintances.  Get empowered and empower others!


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