We have all seen the nail sticking up. We all, pretty much, do the same thing. Our instinct is to get our hammer and nail it down.
Leadership is about avoiding that tendency. Leadership is about asking, is there a reason the nail is sticking up.
Leadership is about a lot of things. Leadership is not about being a hammer.
We all know what happens to the nail that sticks up – it gets hammered down. And nobody wants to be that nail.
There are several flavors of fear that cause us to drive over cliffs. Here are some examples:
- Fear of Ridicule – if everybody else is going along with an idea, it must be because they’re smarter than you. No one wants to be called out as the idiot who can’t understand how brilliant the idea is.
- Fear of the Unknown – We all know what happens when we follow along, but what will happen if we object to the idea is anyone’s guess. We’re pretty sure it’s bad, though.
- Fear of Isolation – The team is all standing over there. Why should I stand over here by myself? Being the nay-sayer can be a lonely role, and I might find myself exiled to a radar station in the Aleutians.