Why put up a facade of perfection? Why appear perfect when most can see right through the facade? For many leaders they feel trapped by what drives their decisions. Why do they put up a false facade? One reason is they feel like people can’t see the real them.
For many leaders, their insecurity drives their decisions that pass the blame and put up a false facade.
In my previous post, I talked about how the insecure leader says, “It wasn’t me.” “It was them.” They pass the blame to anyone or anything. This becomes a pattern. They have programmed themselves by a history of decisions to act this way. They cannot image a way to act differently.
They have to appear in control even if they are not. It can sometimes feel like, while this isn’t the best way to lead, there is no other option to lead. Is there another way?
Sometimes the thought patterns and behaviors we have can feel like a maze. We want to find another way out and another way to live, but we don’t know any other way to think, act and live. What would happen if the insecure leader found a way out of the maze? What would happen if this leader began to lead not out of insecurity but began to put those he/she leads first?
So is there a way out? Is there away out of the maze? Here are two practices that leaders can put in action that will help them get out of their fears and insecurities and to begin to put those they lead ahead of their own interests.
Be Honest. It is simple, yet true. What would happen if the insecure leader was honest to those he/she leads? This leader would become real. This leader would be human. The leader would gain relational capital and others would follow.
People follow leaders who are honest and not those who appear perfect.
Fears and insecurities can drive the leader to be dishonest. They are afraid that if people found out the real them, those they lead would leave. However, many times their worst fears come true and people leave anyway.
“If people see the real me, they won’t trust me anymore!”
The insecure leader says this to themselves and attempts to fool those they lead.
Yet who are you trying to fool by being dishonest? You just end up fooling yourself.
Be honest and others will follow. This doesn’t mean we make the same mistakes over and over again. “Well, if I am just honest, I can make as many mistakes as I want.” A great leader reflects on their experience and learns from their mistakes.
Remind Yourself Who Makes You Happy
Many of us strive for happiness in life. While we think we can find some happiness in material wealth and status. True happiness is found in the relationships we have. Remind yourself of the close relationships you have. At the end of the day, whether it’s a good day or a bad day, who do you go home to that loves you unconditionally? This could be a father, mother, brother, friend, husband, wife, etc. If you are a Christian, Jesus is the one that loves you unconditionally. No matter what, you know that you are loved by God because he sent his son for you. You are a child of God. If you are a Christian, you also know that the love you see from loved ones is an expression of the love of God.
Imagine if you began to live knowing what truly makes you happy? What if your relationship with God drove how you lead?
Make a list of what truly makes you happy and go over them regularly. Allow these things to be your motivation to lead. And when you lead be honest.
When you lead by being honest, and when you lead from a place of being secure in what makes you happy, you will find a way out of the maze of insecurity. You will lead and others will follow.
The first step out of the maze is always the hardest, but the second, third and fourth steps will be easier. It takes thinking and acting in different ways over time to see change and a way out of the maze.
This is by no means an exhaustive list to help an insecure leader. Do you have any practices to add to the list? Thanks for reading!