In my new book, LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear Based World (Jossey-Bass), I make the case that there are only two things in the world: Love and fear, and what you don't love, you fear. I go on to say that the reason our world seems all screwed up is that "most of our so-called leaders have led by fear."
Fear may seem to work in the short term, but over the long-term fear flat out fails (The Second of Five Laws of Love Leadership in my book is entitled "Fear Fails"). Worse, I say that "fear is the ultimate prosperity killer." If you want to paralyze an organization, your family, your community, or your own life, insert a culture of fear.
So you say, "If this is the case, and if fear is so corrosive and so bad for us," as I state over and over again in Love Leadership, "then why, John Hope Bryant has fear seemingly done so well in our little world?" The answer is the feel-good, me-based, immediate gratification disease called "short-termism."
Fear Leads to Short-Termism
The problem is that the entire business world seems to have come down with a case of A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). The disease goes by another name: short-termism. Short-termism is similar to fear and laziness, in that it relies on shortcuts to achieve results.
For most people looking for a short-term fix, fear-based leadership wins out, hands down. If you're satisfied with flash-in-the-pan, short-term thinking, there's no better way than to lead based on fear. With luck, your business will take off like a rocket, for a while. Eventually, however, it will implode.