Want to be in high demand? Here's the secret.

I've had the pleasure of working with many different people since I started in this business in 1985. Some of those folks have been truly exceptional.

Those that stood out had something special that virtually guaranteed they would be in high demand throughout their careers. What is that bit of magic they possessed? Fearlessness.

Here's how fearlessness works

Fearlessness is that unique ability to willingly accept a challenge knowing full well that there Is a very real risk of failure. But also knowing that what you could potentially gain from the experience could prove invaluable.

Let me give you a practical application. When given a challenge, I've had young people say, "I need to be trained." As if that is someone else's responsibility.

Here's what we leaders want to hear, "I don't know how to do that, but I'll take a run at it."

Awesome. We really don't mind if you fail. We know we'll both learn something from it. Besides, if we're offering you a chance to work on a real challenge, you ought to jump at it. Because experience has shown us that it's better learning than any training class will provide.

Fearlessness vs. plain stupidity

Let's be clear on this. Recklessly jumping into a challenge is not fearlessness. It's stupidity. Fearlessness involves calculated risks. It requires thinking and rethinking. And most of all, it takes a willingness to work your butt off.

How to be fearless

Should you be ready for a challenge? Absolutely. But if you want to be really successful, you need to anticipate opportunities. While we leaders appreciate those that accept our challenges, we especially value those who proactively put themselves out there to take on relevant challenges that will advance the business. All without us having to ask.

Now that you know the secret, you have to ask yourself a question. It's not, "Am I fearless?" It's, "Am I willing to do what it takes to be fearless?"