Home > NewsRelease > Got Scared Employees? Then You Have a Scared Leader!
Text Amazon Graphics
Got Scared Employees? Then You Have a Scared Leader!
Stephen R. Balzac, Leadership Development Expert Stephen R. Balzac, Leadership Development Expert
Stow , MA
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stephen R Balzac
For immediate release

Got Scared Employees? Then You Have a Scared Leader!

"Fear shuts people down," says leadership expert Stephen Balzac, president of 7 Steps Ahead and author of The 36-Hour Course in Organizational Development, published by McGraw-Hill. "Martial arts practitioners use fear to shut down an opponent's mind and take away their ability to think quickly or effectively. Scared leaders don't just reduce their own productivity; they reduce that of the team as well."

The worst thing a leader can do is pass their own fear down to their team. When conditions are uncertain or the economic environment difficult, team members instinctively look to the leader, be that their manager or their CEO, for guidance on what to do next. When the leaders are afraid to act, the employees will be afraid as well.

"The best leaders dispense with fear and build competence instead," says Balzac. "That's one of the secrets to using employee engagement to drive profits. Scared employees don't engage. The leader who can motivate through inspiration and through a focus on success is the leader who will build employee engagement and grow their business."

The problem, of course, is how do you do it? If not someone who already knows how to increase employee engagement, it's easy to believe that it's a talent: you either have it or you don't. In truth, almost any leader can develop the emotional intelligence necessary to build engagement. The secret lies in training appropriately. No great athlete got that way through wishful thinking; by the same token, great leaders are made.

"All businesses need to train their leaders, motivate employees, and negotiate with potential partners," observes Balzac. "The trick is developing emotional intelligence and key leadership skills without risk to the business. It's always better to make mistakes in the practice field where failure is a learning opportunity, than in an environment where failure could irrevocably harm the business."

Predictive scenario serious games provide an engrossing and entertaining environment where leaders can hone their skills and safely try new strategies. Just as athletes test new strategies in practice, now leaders have a similar tool available to them.

"In sports, teams practice their skills over and over to deal with every conceivable scenario," Balzac points out. "Businesses rarely have that luxury. Predictive scenarios enable businesses to practice and hone skills before the critical situation in which they are needed. Employees also have the opportunity to experiment and make mistakes in an environment in which there are no financial consequences to the business. Employees who need additional skill training can be identified before they fail on the job. Employees who demonstrate unexpected talents can be given opportunities to utilize those talents for the benefit of the business."

Got scared employees?

What can you do, right now, to build or improve your leadership abilities?

About Steve Balzac

Stephen R. Balzac, "The Business Sensei," is an author, consultant, and professional speaker. He is the president of 7 Steps Ahead, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in helping businesses increase revenue and build their client base.

Steve's background in engineering, management, psychology, martial arts, and competitive sports makes him a popular speaker on topics ranging from leadership, motivation, team building, interviewing skills, and sport performance to computer game design. He was a guest lecturer at MIT and WPI. His articles have appeared in a number of journals, including The Journal of Interactive Drama, The IBM Systems Journal, Mass High Tech, Enterprise Management Quarterly, The CEO Refresher, The Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, Analog SF/F and the Worcester Business Journal.

A recognized thought leader, Steve regularly conducts webinars through ExecSense on topics including, "How to Become an Expert Negotiator as a CEO," "The Best Ways to Position Yourself for Your Company's Management Team," "What You Would Learn From Reading the Top Ten Business Books of All Time and How To Apply the Concepts Today." Steve is a contributing author to Ethics and Game Design: Teaching Values Through Play and the author of the 36-Hour Course in Organizational Development published by McGraw-Hill. He is a frequent guest on radio shows including Motivational Minds and Leadership Radio, and is frequently quoted in a variety of publications including IndustryWeek Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Boston Business Journal.

He also holds an appointment as an adjunct professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Stephen R. Balzac
7 Steps Ahead, LLC
Stow, MA