I have been reading a lot on fear and insecurity over the past year.
Largely out of recognition for how much impact these two instincts have over the common leader, and particularly in my personal life. From Teddy Roosevelt to the dad dinosaur in the Disney movie The Good Dinosaur (Ok, not technically a read), everyone that has stepped out of the boat to influence and shape beyond the existing norm has dealt with those monsters. The degree to which is different according to the person, the context, and the support system they have grounding them. Fear is natural, but when exacerbated through stress and increasing insecurity, it takes on unnatural and unhealthy forms.
Insecurity can create new fears. Ones that are not founded in truth. It is built over time through perceptions and comparisons, and it kills great leaders. This is often where good leaders falter. There is plenty of discussion on what to do with insecurity once you find it, but I like this list of some telltale signs that anyone can look for in themselves. That is the beginning of doing something about insecurity.
This list is from the book Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence by Jenni Catron, on the many faces insecurity shows in leadership:
- Insecure leaders become the influenced rather than the influencer.
- Insecure leaders sometimes come across as aloof and insensitive.
- Insecure leaders can assume an air of false confidence or pride.
- Insecure leaders can be controlling and inflexible.
- Insecure leaders blame others when things don’t go well.
- Insecure leaders find fault with everyone else.
- Insecure leaders see themselves as victims.
- Insecure leaders resist feedback.
- Insecure leaders measure everything against their internal structure of hierarchy.
- Insecure leaders absorb the emotions of everyone around them.
- Insecure leaders can be obsessive people pleasers.
What would you add to this list?
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