Monday, March 07, 2011

WITS Welcomes the UNFEAR virtual tour author Karlin Sloan!

March 6, 2011, A Successful Woman blog at hosted an article called "Defining Success." If you haven’t visited the article there a trip back to yesterday is worth the click.  Today, Writers In The Sky has a question and answer written interview with author, CEO, entrepreneur and executive coach, Karlin Sloan.
Karlin Sloan

WITS Question and Answer Interview with Karlin Sloan, author of, UNFEAR Facing Change In an Era of Uncertainty.

Host Vonnie Faroqui:  Welcome to Writers in the Sky Karlin. It has been a pleasure to read your book and to organize this virtual tour for you.  I have to say that the content of your book is especially timely and relevant.  Can you share with us the inspiration behind the premise of your new book Unfear: Facing Change in an Era of Uncertainty?

Karlin:  I have been inspired by our clients – people who work in senior level leadership roles in companies all over the world. They are coping with what seems like greater and greater levels of stress, fear, and complexity, and I realized that they need simple, clear practices to help them navigate in a very different business environment than we’ve had in the past.

Vonnie:  What would you say were the three greatest challenges for corporate leadership in America today?

Karlin:  I’d say #1 is that we are a deeply interconnected global economy, and that creates enormous complexity. Our decisions have a ripple effect, and we need to understand that ripple effect.  #2 is the pace of change. When we face change that is so rapid, it’s hard to act from a stable, grounded position. It’s impossible to have all of the data and to understand all of the moving parts. Leaders need to engage their intuition and their courage in order to thrive during times of great ambiguity. #3, and this is the one I think is most prevalent at every level of organizations right now – is that people are operating in a state of fear. Fear shuts down our “executive functioning” in the brain, and causes us to react out of defensiveness. We go into fight, flight, and flee behaviors that are not useful unless we are in physical danger. That fear is creating havoc in collaborative relationships, in strategic thinking, in decision-making.  If there’s one thing we need right now it is simply to operate from a more effective state of being.

Vonnie:  Are these challenges shared by your international clients or do they face a different set of challenges?

Karlin:  The fear in the US is palpable right now, but the pace of change is the same, sometimes even greater in our client organizations in Asia in particular. But really these challenges are faced by everyone to a greater or lesser degree. We are all operating in an interconnected, complex business environment and we all need UNFEAR.

Vonnie:  Does the word or rather concept of UNFEAR represent a shift in leadership thinking and strategies from the days when leaders actively used fear based tactics to manipulate their workforce?

Karlin: Absolutely we have shifted in what works in leading in a business environment. Our organizations are more matrixed, power is no longer centralized, and authoritarian leadership just doesn’t fly with our up and coming employee base.  However, UNFEAR is really about something we’ve always needed – confidence that things will work out in the end. My definition of UNFEAR is “confidence in one’s ability to overcome the odds, and to create a positive outcome no matter what the circumstance”. We know that we shut down and become defensive and instinctive when we operate from fear – and it’s time to start operating from confidence in our own resilience. We can get through this, we can learn, and we can grow.

Vonnie:  Why do you think the message of your book, Unfear, is so important?

Karlin:  I am a believer in our human capacity for innovation and creativity. If we can dream it, we can create it. If we focus on what’s wrong and defend against it, we may be sabotaging our ability to envision a positive future and work towards it.  We are facing a lot of drastic change on our planet; from rapid resource depletion and rapid climate change to the proliferation of instant information on the internet – these are challenges that we need to face head-on, with confidence and with enthusiasm for what is possible.

This interview continues tomorrow, March 8, 2011, when the UNFEAR tour visit's Ink Slinger's Whimsey's author promotions blog. Don't miss the second half of this written question and answer interview as Vonnie and Karlin go even deeper into UNFEAR.

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