Meet up with your fears. If you’re afraid of sharks, go learn all about sharks. Get into the water with one. If you respect fear, face it straight on and act anyway. What you’ll find isn’t terror - it’s exhilaration and the moments that you never forget. - Laird Hamilton, Revolutionary Waverider
The right kind of friction can help any organization. To take a famous example, Intel cofounder and retired CEO Andy Grove can be a strong-willed and argumentative person. But Grove is renowned for sticking to the facts and for inviting anyone-from brand-new Intel engineers to Stanford students whom he teaches about business strategy to senior Intel executives-to challenge his ideas. For Grove, the focus has always been on finding the truth, not on putting people down. Not only do I despise spineless and obsequious wimps, but there is good evidence that they damage organizations. A series of controlled experiments and field studies in organizations shows that when teams engage in conflict over ideas in an atmosphere of mutual respect, they develop better ideas and perform better. That is why Intel teaches employees how to fight, requiring all new hires to take classes in "constructive confrontation." These same studies show, however, that when team members engage in personal conflict-when they fight out of spite and anger-their creativity, performance, and job satisfaction plummet. In other words, when people act like a bunch of assholes, the whole group suffers.
Source: The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, Pages: Chapter One