Fear or Faith


Building a successful team or organization takes a leader who can paint a clear vision for a better tomorrow. This vision will provide you, your employees, your players, boosters, and customers with the faith that the team or organization is headed in the right direction, and success is on the horizon.

Faith builds trust and confidence in the direction you and your team are heading. Conversely, fear creates distrust and dysfunction among team members, supporters, and customers. Faith is based on having a positive perspective and belief for the future, whereas fear is based in the negative. If you want to build a successful team or organization, you need to provide a vision that instills faith and trust for a successful tomorrow.

This is exactly what Jules Leotard’s father did. He helped his son to paint a positive vision for his future, while eliminating any fear of failure. That’s also what you need to do as a positive leader. You need build the faith in your people and eliminate their fear. This will inspire them to work harder, work longer, and be more creative; while being more committed to the team.

But who is Jules Leotard?

Jules Leotard was a great athlete and gymnast. He was born in 1842 in the city of Toulouse, France. His father was a gymnastics coach who also operated a swimming pool. Growing up as a kid, Jules was a little daredevil. He liked to climb things and jump off them. In particular he liked to climb trees and swing from the branches before letting go and tumbling to the ground. As a gymnastics coach, his father saw great potential for Jules as a gymnast.

In an attempt to allow Jules to hone his gymnastics skills, build confidence in his acrobatic stunts, and to eliminate any fear, Jules’ father built the world’s first known trapeze, and erected it over his indoor swim pool. This would allow Jules to practice his gymnastic skills and execute some dare-devilish stunts. And any training errors . . . well the pool provided a safe and soft landing for any mistakes young Jules would make. This would allow Jules to be creative in his performance, which helped to build his confidence. As a result, Jules became quite good at gymnastics.

So at the age of 18, Jules joined the Cirque Napoleon and became the world’s first high-flying trapeze artist. It was the encouragement and support of his father that instilled Jules with the confidence he needed to excel in his performance, which gave him faith for a positive future in gymnastics.

So how do you, as a positive leader, build this kind of confidence and faith in your staff? How do you paint a vision, and provide the necessary encouragement and support that gives your stakeholders the faith and belief that success is on the horizon?

To build a climate of faith, you need to begin by painting a clear and positive vision for the future and an action plan for how you will get there. You then need to communicate this vision and action plan through what you say and what you do. If you are positive and consistent in your communications and actions, you will build trust amongst your people. And this trust will build faith that tomorrow will bring a bright and successful future. This in turn will manifest itself as a successful team or organization. However, if you are inconsistent or negative in either your communications or your actions, your staff will pick up on this and will lose trust in you as a leader. This lack of trust will create fear and negativity. The result is a team that is mediocre at best.

The choice is yours. You can be like Jules’ Leotard’s father and instill confidence, trust, and faith through your encouragement, support, and actions; or you can create a team that is negative and fearful for the future? Faith leads to happiness and success, while fear leads to dysfunction and failure. Choose the positive! Choose to encourage and support!

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