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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> Clutch #5: Fear and Desire

thought-leadersThis chapter was a heart stopper for me. Fear and desire. Two ends of a spectrum that I have spent a lifetime trying to find the middle point. A mythical point that may not exist.

Sullivan asserts that those with an articulate awareness of both what they want on the one hand and what they don’t want on the other possess a twin motivation that is more than the sum of the parts.

I for my part instead of holding those twin motivations in steady tension with each other have probably been avoiding them.

Standing in the middle is different than holding both extremes in tension. In the middle I have neither much I am working to avoid or much I am working to achieve. At the extremes I am working very hard to avoid certain fearful possibilities and to achieve certain very attractive dreams.

My personal challenge out of this chapter is to adjust my strategy away from striving for the mythical middle point and toward the clear identification of where those powerful twin motivators of fear and desire find their expression in my story.

Such reflection is going to require both courage and reflection. Self-awareness is a skill most of us spend a lifetime avoiding. And yet, even as I have advocated over the years for the unsurpassable value of self-awareness as a life and leadership core competency, I can feel the stakes go up when it comes to identifying what I fear and what I desire.

Fear and desire can paralyze as easily as they can motivate. The status quo can feel safer than actively working against a negative line of outcomes or possibly failing at one’s efforts to achieve the positive line of outcomes.

Can you articulate what you want? What you fear? Can you articulate them in such a way that they both become positive motivators for you to work toward?

What was your main take-away from this chapter?

On your side,

- Karl Edwards

Each week I post my reflections from one chapter of Clutch: Why Some People Excel Under Pressure and Others Don’t by Paul Sullivan. My reflections are my own and are intended to generate conversation, catalyze additional thinking and encourage mutual learning.
If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.


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