Summary of Breaking the Fear Barrier

How Fear Destroys Companies from the Inside Out and What to Do About It

Gallup Press, more...

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Breaking the Fear Barrier book summary
It’s tough to motivate employees who feel like prisoners when they’re at work.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


Fear rules the business world. Many employees are scared of losing their entitlements, such as status, power, money and influence. To preserve these assets, they create internal “barriers” that render their companies inefficient and unproductive. Tom Rieger – an organizational expert for the Gallup Inc. performance management consultancy – examines the destructive effect of fear within firms and discusses what executives can do to combat it. He finds that fearful people see working for their companies as akin to being in prison – hardly the setting for enthusiasm and productivity. Rieger offers pleasant, if bland, reading. He does a good job of explaining fear-based issues though you may wish he’d offered even more practical, how-to strategies for overcoming the problems he identifies. getAbstract recommends this thoughtful treatise to managers who want their employees to feel excited about their jobs, not afraid of them.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What factors cause fear in organizations,
  • How this fear manifests,
  • What negative effects fear provokes and
  • How you can eliminate fear in your workplace.


Fear Rules
One study shows that 50% of employees in the US feel that their companies treat them like prisoners. These workers feel afraid, and that fear can make them a little nuts. Take the company where executives defined their status by the number of ceiling tiles in their offices. ...
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About the Author

Tom Rieger, a senior practice expert with the research-based consultantcy Gallup Inc., develops frameworks that apply behavioral economic principles to complex organizational problems.

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