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Authors: Thomas J DeLong
Chapter from: "Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success"
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Published in: 2011

Abstract

When high-need-for-achievement professionals become mired in anxiety-producing traps, they tend to think too much and act too little. They shy away from decisions that involve trying something new, changing course, or committing themselves to a tantalizing but potentially risky new goal. In this chapter, Thomas DeLong, a noted expert in organizational behavior and leadership, defines ‘blinking’ as hesitating in the face of an important decision, allowing doubt and fear to keep you stuck in a psychologically safe rut. In order to seize new opportunities and take a chance on learning and growing, you must be prepared to face uncertain, high-stress situations and move forward with confidence. This chapter spotlights high achievers - including Rick Cohen, chairman of C&S Wholesale Grocers, and others - who acted decisively, despite their doubts and fears, when opportunity presented itself. DeLong shows you how you can learn the same behaviors when you have to make a critical choice and go forward to meet new challenges - even when your fear says to stop. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 12 of ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success'.

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Abstract

When high-need-for-achievement professionals become mired in anxiety-producing traps, they tend to think too much and act too little. They shy away from decisions that involve trying something new, changing course, or committing themselves to a tantalizing but potentially risky new goal. In this chapter, Thomas DeLong, a noted expert in organizational behavior and leadership, defines ‘blinking’ as hesitating in the face of an important decision, allowing doubt and fear to keep you stuck in a psychologically safe rut. In order to seize new opportunities and take a chance on learning and growing, you must be prepared to face uncertain, high-stress situations and move forward with confidence. This chapter spotlights high achievers - including Rick Cohen, chairman of C&S Wholesale Grocers, and others - who acted decisively, despite their doubts and fears, when opportunity presented itself. DeLong shows you how you can learn the same behaviors when you have to make a critical choice and go forward to meet new challenges - even when your fear says to stop. This chapter was originally published as Chapter 12 of ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success.’ This chapter is excerpted from ‘Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success'.

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