How Can You Tell If Your Leader Is Afraid Of You

We tend to think of leaders as people who are focused on serving others, dedicated to the mission of the work they do, and committed to their people. Unfortunately—as in every field—some people in leadership positions are threatened by those they lead, especially those who embody the qualities they lack as a leader.

How can you tell if your leader is freaked out by your competence or confidence? Here are some signs to look for:

Constantly shutting you down. Your boss shuts down every great idea you bring up and disagrees with your creative solutions without any reason.

Stealing your ideas. When you have a great idea at work and your boss doesn’t stomp on it, they find a way to stall you long enough to steal it and claim it as their own.

Restricts your access to high-level people in other departments. Your boss tells you to funnel all communications through him or her rather than going directly to anyone outside your department. Fearful bosses tend to be very controlling.

Finding fault in everything you do. You get positive feedback from everyone else, but you’re constantly under your boss’s skin.

Failing to respond. Your boss regularly cancels your meetings, forgets to return your calls and emails, and generally doesn’t seem to have you anywhere on their priority list.

Micromanaging you. Your boss keeps dictating process details and checking up on your work.

Ignoring you. You’re shut out of decision making and don’t have access to strategy sessions.

Giving you low-level assignments. Your manager takes away your highest-impact and highest-visibility projects and leaves you with low-priority busy work.

Leaders are only human and they, too, can be afraid and feel threatened by others. It’s not a good thing but it is sometimes an unfortunate reality. Don’t make it into anything bigger than it is—do your job and do it well, and let your talent speak for itself. At the same time, keep good documentation in case you ever have to report mismanagement or defend yourself, and consider moving to a different workplace where your talents and skills will be appreciated.

Lead from within: Insecure leaders show their fears in the way they treat others.



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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.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

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,, 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.

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