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Leading by Fear But Not What You Think

Today fear looks different. We don't physically flinch when the boss steps over to us because things have changed. Today we talk about psychological safety but it is still about fear.


So what does leading by fear look like today under the umbrella of psychological safety?

  • I know if I bring my complaint forward about my manager there will be consequences so, I don't.

  • I don't want to say that I am not skilled or competent enough for the transition the company is going through and ask for training because I am scared I will be replaced.

  • I know if I report an HR-related issue I will be managed out.

  • I don't bring my ideas forward because this makes my boss feel threatened.

  • I come to work when I am sick because I am afraid they won't believe me.

  • I will not say that I am looking for a better opportunity because I will be the first on the redundancy list next time.

  • I keep quiet in the office and tiptoe around my boss' mood as I don't want her to be upset.

  • I don't put my honest feedback in the annual engagement survey because I know that my manager will do a "Who said what" session.

  • I don't do the job as I think it must be done because that would result in necessary change the management doesn't want and I would lose my job.

  • I do exactly what I was told even if I disagree.

  • I don't want to make a mistake because I am scared of being shouted at.

  • I won't report fishy things because I know I will be victimised and managed out.

  • I don't agree with my annual appraisal but I sign it because of the consequences I may face if I don't.

Leaders and managers, we can do better!


Weekend book order to learn about ridiculous corporate practices:




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