A Big Mistake of New Leaders: Showing Insecurity by Attempting to Borrow Credibility by Criticizing or Distancing themselves from Organization

It’s a fact of life that most folks get promoted to leadership roles before they are fully ready. It’s difficult to avoid, most organizations have a crying need for competent people and the challenges of giving someone a well-rounded exposure and the comprehensive training/mentoring necessary is daunting. The truth is most of us learn on the fly, on the job.

As a result many new leaders face an internal confidence deficit: they know they are not ready. That’s ok, that’s life. The BIG MISTAKE is when leaders allow their insecurities to show on the outside and thus undermine the confidence and team cohesion of those they lead. When you, as a leader, stay calm, cool and collected your team will pick up on that feeling and reflect it back to you.

One way insecurities manifest themselves is when a leader takes an “us v. them” approach: “This organization doesn’t known what it’s doing, they are disorganized etc.” with the implicit or explicit message that the speaker does know better and thus should be trusted/followed/believed. While this moan and groan, complain and criticize, pity party approach may gain the speaker a bit of short term credibility, it is incredibly dysfunctional, undermining the speaker, the organization AND the listener by role modeling a very broken and unhealthy coping mechanism. It is the polar opposite of solution oriented, personal and professional growth behavior.

Closing Quotes:

“Show courage on the outside even if you don’t always feel it on the inside. Everyone is afraid sometimes. If you are a leader, your direct reports will read your every expression. If you show a lack of courage, you will begin to damage your direct reports’ self-confidence.”
– Marshall Goldsmith, ‘What Got You Here Won’t Get You There’

“It’s important a leader always be confident, calm, and set a good example to others. The more difficult the situation, the more important it is a leader project confidence.” – Alex Langer, Effective Leadership

“True confidence will lead to greater success. Confident people help others to be confident, be it their bosses, peers, friends or customers.”
– Faith Starr, Stop Self-Sabotaging and Shift your Paradigm to Success

“Confidence energizes while fear disempowers. Self-belief strengthens while fear weakens.” – Eugene C. Onyibo

“A confident person is someone who gives to others by providing a strong presence that creates a feeling of security and safety that helps others develop confidence.” – Beau Norton, Extreme Confidence: A Comprehensive Guide for Increasing Self-Esteem and Confidence

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier