Hope and fear

Cutting to the chase, we are driven by two emotions: HOPE and FEAR. Yin and yang of motivation. Carrot and stick.

FEAR of failure, loss, or missing out pushes us to act fast. It’s short-sighted.

HOPE of winning, recognition, or making an impact motivates us to endure the journey. It has long term focus.

Overdo FEAR without hope and the business (or the whole country) is in a hunker-down mode obsessing about threats and disregarding opportunities.

Leaving Covid aside, Stalin’s 1937 purge is an example of a nation in a state of hopeless fear. 

Overdo HOPE without fear and the company is off chasing rainbows and unicorns while business decays and rivals chip away market share.

Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812 with the world’s best army of 685,000 and fought his way to Moscow fearlessly hoping for a historic victory. About 100,000 of them “won” an empty burnt down city with no food or supplies 3,000 km away from Paris. Only 30,000 returned home, which marked the beginning of the end of Napoleon’s empire.

Life is a mix of sprints and marathons. It requires long term vision and a sense of urgency to act. With leadership that effectively uses both HOPE and FEAR for motivation, we can colonise Mars and defeat robots!


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