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The Fearless Executive

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The Fearless Executive

Finding the Courage to Trust Your Talents and Be the Leader You Are Meant to Be


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

You have nothing to fear but fear itself (and the bad career moves it can cause you to make).

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples
  • Engaging


To help you become a better leader as an executive, Alan Downs teaches you how to get through your fears and trust your own talents. He focuses on how to gain the confidence to be yourself. After that, your goal should be to bring passion to whatever you do. While many of these ideas will be familiar to readers of self-help literature, Downs does a good job of adding a unique spin with his examples of classic and present-day stories that illustrate long-held fears. He organizes his material in an effective, easy-to-read way and suggests that overcoming fears is only a step on the road to self-confidence. This leaves the reader with plenty to chew on, marking this book as a better than average self-help guide and earning it a recommendation in this category from getAbstract.


Silencing the Dark Adviser

The formula for reaching the highest level of success as an executive is clear: "Trust your talents. Follow your passion. Silence the fear."

Seeking a successful career as an executive is like landing an airplane. You must consider altitude, distance and wind resistance. To land, you have to find the ideal combination of these three factors. Likewise, you must work on increasing both your talent and passion, while reducing the resistance to moving ahead.

Your strategic advantage is your talent, which "gives you an edge over the competition." Your passion gives you motivation to move forward and the ability to persist. By contrast, fear is like an "internal chain" that holds you back. Fear blocks you from exploring and experimenting, and keeps you from discovering your true talents. Not until you silence these strong voices of fear are you able to experience your fullest potential and come to know your capabilities, and thus achieve your greatest success.

Realize that you already have the talent and passion to succeed. Executive success isn’t based on having a particular talent or passion. Rather, it comes from knowing what your...

About the Author

Alan Downs is a management psychologist, author and executive coach. He has written for numerous magazines and newspapers and is the author of several books on management, including Beyond the Looking Glass and Seven Miracles of Management

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