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Breaking the Fear Barrier: How Fear Destroys Companies From the Inside Out and What to Do About It Hardcover – August 23, 2011

4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Rieger is a former Gallup employee. He is an expert in identifying and correcting barriers to success, both for companies and societies. Rieger has built a number of frameworks that apply behavioral economic principles to a variety of complex problems, across boardrooms and battlefields. Tom received an MS in Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon in 1986.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Gallup Press; First Printing edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595620540
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595620545
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #684,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was torn on how many stars to give the book - on the one hand it does a brilliant job of illustrating how destructive fear-based controls are to engagement, productivity, and service but on the other hand, gives sparse, general, and shallow suggestions on how to overcome these issues. Perhaps a more accurate title would be "Diagnosing the Fear Barrier?"

He also opens and closes the book with a fictional case study full of hyperbole and magical transformation - not very compelling. The specific companies and their experiences he cites in the body of the text do a much better job of making the author's points. For senior management and executives seriously looking at transforming their company culture, this is a quick and accessible place to start (and a real world look at how so many of us find the condescending oversight that limits our contributions). For middle managers and frontline supervisors, you'll just nod your head and roll your eyes in recognition but not take away much meaningful guidance on how you can effect the change your workplace so badly needs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book, and I would highly recommend it!

It's for all levels in the corporate world. Especially for those who understand working for empire builders, and perfect for the power-mongers at the top who are in denial and have the autopilot on, headed right for a mountain.

Tom Rieger does a terrific job illustrating how destructive fear-based controls are to engagement, productivity, success and growth, and talent retention. It gives a thorough insight for business leaders to understand the cost of losing talent, making sales suffer, and creating corporate havoc due to empire building, territorialism, and parochialism.

It's like treating cancer. You want to treat it while it's in its infancy. It's about being proactive. You don't want to wait to see it go to stage four, and then throw every possible solution under the sun at it, and then ask: "Uhh, gee, how come this didn't work?", and then find someone to throw under the bus for the misdeeds.

Ever work for an overbearing manager? Favoritism, nepotism, bureaucracy - all destroy companies from the inside out. The book walks you through simple ways on how to overcome fear in corporations. It vividly outlines the consequences of the circumstances when management leads poorly, and employees simply follow because of the fear. There was a saying about Fred the CEO, he took his lemming for a walk only one time - straight off a cliff.

I believe in this book so much, that I purchased it for the brass-hat at my company. Sometimes, even the best of us make wrong choices. It's like putting out a grease fire with water. It's just getting bigger and out of control, and then it hits you, that the wrong solution applied can create really bad consequences.
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Format: Hardcover
The author addresses the subject head on about the how fear evolves in an organization. He explains the pyramid of bureaucracy a fearful organization will evolve from parochial, territorial to empire building. Each level of the pyramid builds on the one before it, creating more and more barriers with each step. He is spot on identifying patterns and behavior which rise fear walls. He gives recommendations on how courageous leaders can sway the ship outwards by eliminating fear by conviction and perseverance.

Facets of Fear
1. Fear leads companies to destroy themselves. It happens quietly and subtly.
2. When people fear losing, they can feel compelled to create walls.
3. While walls may shelter one person/group, they leave others out in the cold.
4. When threatened, natural inclination is to fight/grab what you can and run.
5. In barrier-plagued companies, vital courage wins over moral courage.
6. When growth is not handled properly, the seeds of bureaucracy are planted.

Territorial Manager Behaviors
1. Taking away freedom to make decisions
2. Taking away time
3. Eliminating training opportunities
4. Restricting access to information or resources
5. Limiting employee participation and innovation
6. Withholding managerial support

Common courage killers:
1. Inconsistency
2. Playing the blame game
3. Hoarding information
4. Public floggings
5. Subjectivity/rewarding subservience over service
6. Excessive control

How to build a fearless organization
1. Vital courage is best for the employee;Moral courage for the organization.
2. Leaders need to motivate employees to perform acts of moral courage.
3.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Just remember that we all have a choice to make use of the entire spectrum of our lives. Fear is part of the journey. The sooner we learn to deal with it so that we can harness it's power turning it into a positive, then fear works for us~~~!!!!
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