The Dow Jones dropped over 1,000 points today, the third biggest point loss in its history.
The reason for the decline? Well, it’s the same reason every time: fear. This time we are fearful about the fallout from the Coronavirus.
Fear is a big problem for us. Fear encourages us make bad decisions. Fear keeps us in our routines. Fear is too quick to squelch unknown great alternatives for known good ones.
But fear, like everything else, is a function of context.
I watched a Warren Buffett interview this morning. He was talking about how the stocks of great companies are essentially on sale.
So in one context the market is signaling fear, and in another context the market is signaling opportunity. Same market. Different context.
For leaders the point is this: Fear is always the fast and easy context for any situation. But if we can push past the automatic fear response, there may be another way to frame the situation. A frame that would lead to different decisions and, ultimately, a different outcome.