I was privileged to participate in a panel discussion regarding governance at the 1,300-strong 18th Annual Conference of the Institute of Internal Auditors South Africa (IIA SA) this morning. One of the topics I mentioned in my section was that of fear and how that can affect governance. Basically, how auditors and directors are human too!
I was even more privileged to hear Alex Granger talk for the first time. Alex is dynamic, inspiring and funny. He also talked about fear. Fear, twice in one morning – I need to think about this.
Having done so, here’s a few thoughts about fear:
F: Failure: according to whose standards, and by what yardstick? Are we endlessly trying to meet an (ever moving) social/financial/family/relationship expectation? Can we view “failure” as an opportunity to learn?
E: Exposure: insecurity bedevils many of us, not necessarily about big things but there’s often the niggle. We are all “differently abled” – we need to not only let that be good enough, but actually revel in it.
A: Artifice: I might be found out! The fear that we are not our authentic selves, or (see Exposure above) the fear that our authentic self is somehow inadequate. That I have to keep up the façade, and dare not (see Failure above) make a mistake!
R: Repercussions and reactions: what might happen if ….I do all the positive things above, like be myself, fail, and be vulnerable. Kick-back of note sometimes. And that’s hard.
What’s harder is sliding into your grave wishing you’d had the courage to action your truth, and its too late. Stealing slightly from Alex’s inspiration today, you can’t be an eagle and be afraid of flying.