This is my take on a question asked on a leadership Q&A page.
What people in leadership positions fear most is to let people down.
As a young entrepreneur, I was afraid not to be able to make payroll. A poor decision could hurt the whole staff.
These people took a chance on me when they joined my business. They believed in the vision and started following me.
When people accept to follow you for any other reason than authority, they entrust you with something they care about.
In some extreme situations, it can be their lives. At work, it can be their careers or the next promotion.
If you are concerned about people, experiencing fear is normal.
I'd even argue that it's healthy. It keeps you alert and gives you the motivation to try your best.
Now, you don't want to let this fear grow out of control.
To keep it in check, approach the issue methodically.
Start by defining what you fear and put words on what scares you.
Then, make sure that people are aware of the risks. Don't brush them off, thinking that risks are evident.
Be honest and transparent.. without scaring people. It's a fine line; you don't want them to panic, but you certainly don't want them to follow you blindly.
Great leaders make sure that everybody understands the risks, terms, and rules at all times.
They do not hesitate to regularly check in to make sure that people are still following willingly. And that they know what it entails.
When people buy in on a vision, they need to own their share of the risks, too.
Even though you will do everything in your power to protect them.