The world has changed, she says. Executives no longer have time for “development or learning.”
My historical perspective is somewhat longer than hers. But I can’t think of a time when this was NOT a standard excuse. Assuming that executives generally volunteer for the role, are they really all that surprised or intimidated by the everyday demands of the role? If so, it is not “fearlessness” that they are lacking, but competence.
The interview is certainly worth visiting. But it is mostly about her and not about the executives to which she refers. As she put it, “fear set in and risk increased” around 2001. Here, she is explaining how she had to change to cope with what she took to be those executives’ fears. Of course, all CEOs have their moments of uncertainty about their capabilities. If they didn’t, it’s unlikely that they would ever be able to sustain success. She says the concept of “execution”—in the sense of getting things done -- gives her the shivers. Even a brief glance at a dictionary (she has a Ph.D.) will demonstrate that the same word can mean different things in different contexts. I get the feeling that she means something very personal by “fearlessness” – not what most people would understand by that word.
A final observation, if I may: Reality is in the eye of the beholder. It is not to be found only at the Shambhala Institute. Fear has its uses. It may even be prudent. Managers may be well-advised to be more fearful of management experts than of the big bad world of reality.