Complacency versus fear. We experience both while trying to achieve big things. Typically we worry more about latter, but it might be valuable to reconsider.
Recently a friend of mine recommended a video of Alison Levine doing a Ted Talk in which she recounts the lessons she learned about fear and complacency leading an all-women team up Mount Everest. Levine is a polished speaker, the talk is often funny and entertaining, and includes many lessons that can be used while coaching a team.
You can pull out a number of small excerpts throughout to show your team and use them to make a point.
One of my favorites–and I’m paraphrasing–is that “fear is a normal human emotion, but complacency can kill.”
She is discussing the danger that awaits on particularly precarious and dangerous parts of the climb. In those dangerous moments it is better to manage your fear and turn it into focus than it is to be complacent in the face of danger.
I recognize this same dynamic in coaching.
We vilify fear, but in certain situations it can be a useful tool to concentrate the mind or drive us to prepare. Complacency, on the other hand, can creep in and makes us vulnerable to the big moments we failed to prepare for, and to the mundane that we take too lightly.
It can do a lot of damage quickly.
I find this a very useful talking point with players.
Don’t worry too much about having some fear. Fear points you in a direction. It challenges you.
Worry more about becoming complacent and turning manageable tasks into bigger challenges and big challenges into threats.
Levine’s tale of ascending Mount Everest is valuable on many levels. You can find the video Lessons From the Ledge here.