Breaking the Fear Barrier: How Fear Destroys Companies from the Inside Out, and What to Do About itHardback
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- Publisher: Gallup Press
- Format: Hardback | 220 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 215mm x 20mm | 358g
- Publication date: 25 August 2011
- Publication City/Country: Omaha
- ISBN 10: 1595620540
- ISBN 13: 9781595620545
- Illustrations note: black & white line drawings
- Sales rank: 242,408
This book takes the reader through a journey of how fear of loss progressively creates barriers and bureaucracy that inevitably cause companies to fail, and what leaders needs to do to overcome these seemingly impenetrable walls. The greatest threat to an organisation's success is not always the competition. Often, it is what a company does to itself. Because of fear, companies become plagued with barriers and bureaucracy that limit success, crush employees, and infuse frustration and a sense of futility across the enterprise. It starts with a narrowing of focus, which leads to the first level of bureaucracy: parochialism. Parochialism exists when managers and departments begin to view the world through the filter of their own little silo, and build walls make of rules and policies to protect their turf. As businesses grow and become more complex, the second level of bureaucracy is reached: territorialism. While parochialism is about protecting a department from outsiders, territorialism is about controlling those inside the silo. The third and final level of bureaucracy is empire building, which is a response to perceived threats to a department's ability to be self-sufficient. These barriers cost organizations a fortune in inefficiency, turnover, waste, and demoralization. Tearing down these barriers is difficult, but it can be done. Parochialism can be eliminated by resetting rules and policies, and refocusing on the ultimate mission of the organization. Territorialism can be eliminated by creating true empowerment, along with appropriate levels of accountability. Empire building can be addressed through shared goals and a set of guiding principles to help act as a referee in decision making. But that's not enough. Managers must also create a culture of courage, to enable employees to take advantage of these new freedoms and accountabilities. Courage killers must be rooted out, and dealt with swiftly and strongly. Finally, leadership must refocus on mission success rather than just checking off their part of the process, manage reference points, and engage employees. By doing all of these things, an organization can become fearless, and unstoppable.
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Tom Rieger is a Senior Practice Expert with Gallup Inc. 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 both boardrooms and battlefields. Tom received an MS in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon in 1986.