There is a false formula for success being perpetrated throughout our country. For the most part, this false formula is spread by people who enjoy the illusion that control over other people creates power and that this power will enable them to feel better about their own insecurities. Thus in return, many of these people are willing to fall in-step with this false logic because it takes them off the hook for being responsible for their own choices and the consequences of their decisions.

What is the secret that keeps people compliment and willing forego their own happiness in exchange for the promise of moving up the ladder, making more money or enjoying more recognition?

The answer is simple: fear.

For most people, all their actions are rooted in fear—fear of losing their job and income, not being able to pay bills, what they will look like to family and friends— a failure. In this equation, all actions start from a place of fear as the motivation rather the desire to feel happy, joyful, and fulfilled. While happiness is the end goal of wanting money, fame, and success, it is impossible to achieve if it isn’t a large factor at the outset.

So what does this have to do with leadership?

In a word: everything. Without exception, the organizations in which I work where there is dysfunction, dissension and discontent, there are leaders whose actions are based in fear—fear of losing control, revealing their “weaknesses” and not living up to the expectations of the position. And yet, because fear is at the core of their actions, they create the exact situations they don’t want and their employees see them as flawed, inaccessible and floundering. This only creates fear in the employees and the situation manifests throughout the organization.

The solution lies in believing in who you are.

No one person is perfect and no person is without merit and contribution. The answer to this dysfunction is to shift the mode of operating from fear to confidence in one’s self. This is the fundamental principle of leadership: be authentic and in doing so open yourself to creating joy in your life because you exhibit the best of who you are and know that as a result your needs will be met. Isn’t it powerful to know what you bring to the table and to be able to acknowledge that in others? What about the power in being so confident in your contribution that you are not beholden to any person or organization?

People ultimately achieve material success because they know who they are and confidently offer it to the world. In addition, they are happy and the world is better as a result of sharing their unique gifts in the highest and best possible way.

Today, examine the motivations behind your actions; are they rooted in fear or joy?

If the answer is anything less than you feeling and being your best, it is time to make a change! You will be happier when you do and so will those with whom you work.