The fine line between fear and courage

The right decision is often obvious, but the pressure to make the wrong decision can be overwhelming.

The general problem can be seen as in the following social-credit-matrix. The expected social rewards for making the crowd-influenced decision appear better than those for making the decision that you think is right:

1. You decide against the crowd
1.1 You are right: Few remember that you made the decision, but the company succeeds
1.2 You are wrong: Everybody remembers the decision and you are down graded, ostracized or fired

2. You decide with the crowd
2.1 You are right: Everyone who advised you remembers the decision and the company succeeds
2.2 You are wrong: You receive the minimum blame possible for getting it wrong, but the company suffers

This is why courage is critical. Read Ben Horowitz’ thinking here: http://goo.gl/yichW