To create the shield of safety, you need to wear “The Face”. Anyone who’s been an entrepreneur or leader of a team knows about The Face. It’s the white-collar equivalent of “service with a smile”, and is an analogy for the acting you must do to project the aforementioned qualities. Make no mistake, this face is critical, and directly affects the team’s performance.
In private conversation, it may be a shit-storm with your stakeholders. There may even be conversations of shutting it all down if you don’t grow. But to your team, you need to project confidence, optimism, and urgency — all at once, all the time.