The Insecure Leader Part Two: There Is a Way out of the Maze

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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?

The Maze

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

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.

Conclusion

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!

The Insecure Leader Part One: I Messed Up

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I Messed Up

I messed up recently. I miscommunicated with some people I lead.

Communication is so important when you lead others, and I dropped the ball with some important information.

Have you ever done that? Chances are you have, if you have led people for any duration of time. There comes a point when a leader can respond in a few different ways, when he/she messes up. In this post we will take a look at two ways a leader can respond.

Pass The Blame

The insecure leader passes the blame. It is easy to pass the blame. Blame someone, anyone, anything for the ball that was dropped. It was that person’s fault for not making sure we were communicating the right info. They didn’t do what needed to be done. If they would have just gone the extra mile, then this wouldn’t have happened. They will get there soon, we just need to be patient with them. I am the expert, if they would have just listened to me. They weren’t listening, it’s not my fault. Now the insecure leader can even blame technology. The email or text message was never sent.

“It wasn’t me,” the insecure leader said. “It was them.”

Appear Perfect

The insecure leader feels the need to keep up the appearance of perfection. They put up a false facade of perfection. They really aren’t perfect because no one really is perfect. This leader cannot be real or show vulnerability. They are afraid to lose control or appear like they don’t know what they are doing.

They cannot say, “I messed up.” “I dropped the ball.”

So they pass the blame and attempt to keep up the appearance of perfection.

Conclusion

I didn’t pass the blame with this situation I mentioned. And anyone who has worked with me or anyone who I’ve led knows that I don’t put up a facade of perfection. I am not even close to perfection.

Why put up a facade that everyone can see right through?

This hasn’t always been the case for me. I used to be more apt to pass the blame or attempt to put up a facade of perfection. Leaders can do something about their insecurity. It doesn’t have to drive their decisions.

Be on the look out for “The Insecure Leader Part Two: There Is a Way out of the Maze”, when I talk about some practices that can help a leader deal with their insecurity. This is an ongoing battle, but you can do it!