The adage says, "fear no evil" but how about all the other stuff?

In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address he sums up the concept of fear with a phrase that would make a fourth grade grammar teacher cringe, yet captured a nation and went to live in infamy as his “magic” words live on.  Here Franklin made clear by these words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” is that fear is something “we” create and therefore if we fear then it us that we created the reason to fear.  As furthering this, Frank Herbert of Dune fame then wrote “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain”. 

As here Herbert says that fear is the “mind killer”, that it also brings with it  “total obliteration”, yet if one stares their fear straight in the eyes, you face the fear in yourself and it will pass leaving you to remain as you are the one who created it [fear]  in the first place.  So what is this philosophical waxing about “fear” today?  Well let’s say I’m not here to talk you into bungee jumping or anything like that as in fact I’m here to talk about business.  So what does business have to do with fear you ask?

While that’s a good question, and the simple answer is its destroying business as its gumming up the capitalistic machine as we speak.  As today business’s are afraid to take risks, to spend money, to hire people, to take a chance or simply do anything!  You want examples, let’s start with Apple, look how much cash they are sitting on, yes they are more liquid then the US government not joking!  While this money is being passively invested so it’s not like its socked away in their waiting room chair cushions or anything, however they are not “actively” using it.  In other words, they aren’t making something in the tangible world with it, hiring people or building factories (in the United States where the money is so to speak).

Lest you think it’s only Apple, think again just look the balance sheets of many of the large corporations out there and it becomes clear that there are those who are just sitting on cash.  So how does fear play into this you ask, they are afraid.  Yes, they fear the economy may weaken, they fear reprisal being different, they fear the loss of their jobs and the list goes on and on.  Hey why rock the boat as your getting a pay check and making Wall Street happy with all this cash right?  Well that’s what you’re thinking as you feed that nasty little beast inside named fear as your afraid to face it aren’t you and YOU know who you are…


About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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