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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended Read for Executive and Top Leadership, July 4, 2012
This review is from: Breaking the Fear Barrier: How Fear Destroys Companies From the Inside Out and What to Do About It (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. Design rewards in a way that balances and aligns both types of courage.
4. It is easy to get people to be courageous during a crisis.
5. Courageous leadership need to happen every day.
6. Barriers built internally can be destroyed internally.
7. Structure rules to prevent walls from forming.

Finally, Goals, budget allocation, and distribution of resources should be based on these guiding principles:
- Improving financial performance
- Improving the workplace
- Strengthening customer relationships
- Limiting liability
- Avoiding catastrophic failure

Quotes from the book
1."There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress except those we ourselves erect."- Ronald Reagan
2. Fear creates barriers. But barriers don't spring up overnight. They evolve.
3. "It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory"- W. Edward Deming
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