On the Shoulders of Giants

by Brian SperonelloIcon

When Asking for Opinions is Merely Fear of Accountability (Pt. 2)

The first half of this post discusses when leaders and managers look to involve others in the decision-making process because they fear standing on their own and being held entirely accountable. There is another instance where the fear of accountability drives people to seek out the opinions of others. It happens right before they're ready to ship the project they're working on.

At the end of the creative process, terror sets in. The reality that you are about to irreversibly send your work into the world hits. Until then, criticism and failure are merely hypothetical. After you ship, all of that becomes a reality. And it's scary.

This is the predominant reason so many projects are abandoned just before they're done. The fear of criticism, failure, and being held accountable for your work is paralyzing. The creator insists on getting feedback from one more person, and then another, going through an endless series of inconsequential revisions and miniscule adjustments; not really changing anything but allowing her to procrastinate while feeling like she's still being productive.

The challenge is to recognize this behavior in yourself, and to develop the courage to pull the trigger at the end of a project instead of letting fear, disguised as perfectionism, cause you to procrastinate. The better you get at breaking through the fear-induced paralysis that comes at the end of a project and shipping, the more meaningful work you will ultimately be able to produce.


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