Overcoming Common Fears as Leaders with Gerardo Segat

In this week’s episode of The Leadership Habit podcast, Jenn DeWall welcomes Gerardo Segat, an international leadership coach, to discuss the pressing issue of overcoming the common fears that hold us back as leaders. Gerardo is on a mission to humanize leaders and organizations. As leaders, we tend to put on certain masks and try to hide our insecurities. 

However, fear-based leadership can result in harmful behavior like judging, blaming, ignoring, destroying, and attacking, which can significantly impact our leadership effectiveness. Gerardo calls this “destructive leadership” and has made it his life’s work to help people overcome fear and engage in “constructive leadership” instead!

Meet Gerardo Segat, International Leadership Coach

Gerardo Segat is an international leadership coach whose purpose and legacy are to humanize leadership. Following a wealth of experiences as an entrepreneur, chairman and CEO, Gerardo has used his leadership background to create Preludes–  a coaching program created to humanize leaders, organizations, and their stakeholders through creative and powerful original experiences such as decision-making debates, client interaction models, and emotions-focused team meetings.

Gerardo is also the creator of Vebate, a format of decision-making debate, Leader in the Mirror, a format of interview, and Leaderness, a post-graduate training program. For the past decade, he has been a member of the YPO, or Young Presidents’ Organization (the world’s largest community of leaders and CEOs), of which he has been the founder and chair of three chapters in Italy, Switzerland, and globally.

Currently, Gerardo is working on Out As Humans, a performing arts show designed to humanize authentic leaders. Out as Humans is an immersive performance for individuals and groups that creates a space for leaders to be open, trusting, empathetic, and feel a sense of belonging.

Facing Your Fears as a Leader

In the episode, Jenn and Gerardo discuss how fears and our fear responses are hardwired into human nature. As humans, we are programmed to feel fear in order to survive. However, in today’s world, we aren’t facing dangerous natural predators in nature, so our fear responses must evolve. 

Jenn notes, “Sometimes we don’t realize that it’s almost primal to have fear. It’s a natural reaction to our surroundings. But sometimes, the fear actually doesn’t need to be there. And you don’t need it. I don’t want to say you’re manufacturing the fear, but it’s not as life-threatening as you might initially perceive it to be. You know, our relationship with fear is that sometimes we need to actually move it aside. We’re going to survive either way.”

Gerardo agrees, “Yes. And it is mainly because we think we are our minds, but the reality is we have a mind. We’re not our minds. And therefore, you know, a mind is like an arm, a leg, you know, instead, we tend to think that we are our mind, and therefore we’re unable to detach ourselves from, you know, fears, feelings, et cetera.”

The 4 Ultimate Fears 

Later in the episode, Gerardo explains that there are 4 ultimate fears that can drive our behavior as humans and as leaders: 

  • We fear a lack of meaning in our lives. 
  • We fear loneliness. 
  • We fear dependence on others. 
  • We fear uncertainty.

These hardwired fears can cloud our judgment, and without self-awareness, we might be leading with fear instead of intention.

Confronting Your Fears to Become a Better Leader

Jenn asks Gerardo, “How do we actually overcome these ultimate fears and find that treasure that’s on the other side? Where do you start? I know that you talked about, you know, really first examining, building that self-awareness. The why. Why do we act the way that we do, but where do we go from there?”

Gerardo explains, “Well, on one side, you need to pursue them. Okay? So set an objective to find inner meaning. To find inner love, if you just stay still and say, okay, my objective is inner love, and you go out in the world, and you see that the decisions you make will be completely different, completely different. Set yourself inner objectives that create an opportunity to build, to start.  

Start by building self-awareness and then actually accepting that and then analyzing what the consequences are. I have been remedying those consequences. Look at what solutions are there and change. Make the change and take a different path and different action. So the first one is really to set those objectives.”

Then, Gerardo explains more about his work and how it allows leaders to be vulnerable and share their own fragility to overcome their fears and embrace authenticity

Where to Find More From Gerardo Segat

Be sure to listen to the full episode to get more strategies and insights from Gerardo Segat. Then, if you want more information about Gerardo and his work, you can connect with him: 

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