As a leader, you are almost certain to face some scary situations. You don’t have the benefit of letting others come up with plans or make decisions; you’re the one who needs to shoulder much of the burden. In the military, that’s often life-or-death stuff, which comes not only with the fear of your own mortality, but with the profound responsibility for other people’s lives, too. But even at relatively cushy desk jobs, a leader has to face other sorts of fears—the fear that the company will get sued or go bankrupt, the fear of launching a new product that may fail, the fear of public speaking, even the fear of success.

People have missed out on job promotions because they were afraid of greater responsibility—and the accompanying ...

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