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Don't Let Fear Guide Your Decisions

David Lykken
Sep 01, 2015

Over the past few weeks, the stock market has taken a bit of a tumble. When China devalued its currency, things sort of went topsy-turvy. When you listen to the commentary from many of the financial experts, though, you'll hear much of the same story: People are overreacting. Investors sell off their shares, not because they're being thoughtful and discreet, but simply because they're scared. It's the nature of the market to have ups and downs. The savvy investors are the ones who know how to must the strength to hold on through those valleys to get to the peaks.

As leaders in the mortgage industry, we face the same sort of emotional roller-coaster in our day-to-day operations. Stability in the mortgage industry can feel a lot like the stock market and, indeed, is even closely related to the stock market. We have to do endure ups and downs just like investors. And, when times are challenging, there are two ways of reacting: We can let fear manage us or we can manage fear.

Letting fear guide your decisions as a leader is really all about vision. How far can you see into the future? Do you take the long view, or can you only see what's right in front of you. Leaders who are focused on the short term are likely to get swallowed up by fear, causing them to make knee-jerk decisions that can be catastrophic to their organizations. But, if you want to be a leader who successfully manages your organizations well into the future, you've got to think long-term. Don't let fear guide your decisions—understand that there's always a peak waiting on the other side of the valley.


David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Sep 01, 2015