Last Updated Oct 20, 2008 7:39 PM EDT
So what do executives do when they are fearful? Here is what Baldoni advises:
- Remain in control of personal feelings and show command of the group.
- Prepare by rolling out "what if" scenarios in your mind.
- Confide in a friend.
- Find an outlet to release your fear, such as exercise or community work.
- Make light of the situation.
It took Shackleton two years to lead his crew to safety in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. All survived. The Shackleton story is now used as a lesson in leadership at Harvard Business School. According to professor Nancy Koehn, who wrote the case, one lesson is that leaders should reassess goals when hard times descend.
"One thing Shackleton did very well was to revise, and reset, his objectives as the context changed," Koehn says. "As soon as that ship was frozen, he figured out that the goal of the enterprise -- and it was an enterprise, an organization -- was no longer to walk across the continent of Antarctica. The new goal was to survive. He was able to see that and keep that clearly in focus."
In the weakening economy, are your goals changing? How do you deal with fear?