Even though fear is a dangerous emotion that can paralyze as well as motivate, Grove believes in the fear of failure more than the joy of success.
In Only the Paranoid Survive, Grove says the only way to cultivate the fear of losing in your employees is to feel it yourself. His own words:
- “It is fear that makes me scan my e-mail at the end of a long day, searching for problems.”
- “It is fear that makes me read the trade press (and) tear out particularly ominous articles … for follow-up the next day.”
- “It is fear that gives me the will to listen to Cassandras when all I want to do is cry out, ‘Enough already, the sky isn’t falling,’ and go home.”
Lesson: Paranoia may not sound like much fun, but Grove is the only high-profile leader who publicly advocates using fear as a business tool. Works for him.
—Adapted from Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American, Richard S. Tedlow, Portfolio.