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  • Writer's pictureAdil Malia


Atychiphobia - The fear of failure. The weakest spot in the leader's armour. 'A chink in one's armor' refers to an area of vulnerability. It has traditionally been used to refer to a weak spot in a figurative suit of armor. The reference is akin to that of Achilles' heel. 'Risk Aversion' is that atychiphobia for an effective leader.

Pusillanimous...timid, gutless, timorous. Can't be a leader. Have you ever worked with a risk-averse Manager ? Disaster for he will not take any decision, nor allow you to take one nor follow decisions taken by another. So comfortable is he with the status-quo that the entire evaluation of any alternate option is anchored only to the virtues of steadiness & safety of the present option. Credibility, Competence & Capability of the leader, I suspect leads to the leader's feeling of perpetual vulnerability.

Risk Aversion is a conscious preference for a sure outcome over a gamble with a higher or equal expected value. The psychophysics of chance induces overweighing sure things and of improbable events, relative to events even of moderate probability.

The fast track career focused on such a skipper's ship are the first deserters as they jump-off the deck. Can't take it anymore.  The crew unfortunately, remains trapped to the ship and that skipper.

The greatest victim of such a Pusillanimous leader is the enterprise culture. INNOVATION is bound to suffer in such a culture - the leader will not allow anything new ... DEVELOPMENT - is a new path and the leader will resist it ...  EMPOWERMENT is not possible for the leader will not give up power ... TRUST - no one is trusted ... CONFIDENCE - doubtful that the leader will have confidence on anyone else ... MORALE - naturally has to fall & PRODUCTIVITY - stays at the same point of status quo.

Whenever an organisation culture reflects such limiting behaviours, best is to assess the Atychiphobia and vulnerabilities of the leader.

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