All leaders have fears, and all fears have solutions. Here are some of the most common fears that hold leaders back from greatness, and ways to begin conquering them:
The fear of being an imposter. As many as 99 percent of leaders suffer from imposter syndrome, feeling like a fraud and worried about being found out. You may fear that you don’t have the skills you need to succeed. But in reality, a big part of leadership is the process of developing those skills. You can do it like most people through trial and error, but a better way is to find a really good coach who can help you navigate the journey of leadership—one who has been there before and can show the way.
The fear of being a failure. Some leaders give up on their goals because they’re afraid that they’re unattainable. They lead from that fear and settle in their leadership, and eventually they quit hoping for more. Choose to follow the example of the successful leaders who are afraid of failure but they take action anyway. When they face a setback, they work harder. They adopt new strategies and new solutions and they keep looking for the right avenue. They don’t give up their goals when things become challenging; they find new ways of working hard and achieving them.
The fear of making the wrong decision. Putting off a difficult decision isn’t effective leadership—delaying more often than not ends up hurting the organization. Making hard decisions is part of leadership. if you’re hesitant, remind yourself that not deciding is likely more damaging than any choice you can make. Whether you follow your research or your instinct, trust your judgment and make the call. Maybe in retrospect you’ll see that it was the best call, and if not you’ll deal with it and learn from it.
The fear of not being a good communicator. Most leaders have so much to communicate that sometimes their communication is not as effective as it could be. Take the time to learn to communicate effectively. Study and practice good communication habits every day, and learn from effective communicators. A few lucky people are born with a gift for communication, but most of us have to master it like any other skill.
The fear that what got them here won’t keep them here. As your leadership career grows and evolves, the skills and knowledge you need to bring also change, so in a sense this fear is valid. But it’s also easy to address. Surround yourself with talented people and put their expertise to good use. Stay open minded and open hearted, and always be willing to listen to input, opinions and suggestions from others.
Lead from within: Fear is a real element for many leaders, and learning how to conquer it is important—for you and for those you lead.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.