Our biggest leadership screw-ups are fear in disguise. Fears have a powerful and dangerous habit of shape shifting into a monster that stands in our way, blocking the behaviors we most need for success.
Mike’s arrogant approach and intimidating demeanor is covering up his biggest fear–that the team will discover he’s not really an expert. The team talks about him constantly–about his horrible leadership–and avoids interaction. His fear wins.
John doesn’t start the blog he’s always wanted to write for fear of being irrelevant. His fear wins.
Rachel doesn’t share her best practices with her peers, because she wants to be the best and get promoted. She doesn’t get promoted because she’s not a team player. Her fear wins.
When we pretend we’re not afraid, fear wins.
By denying what scares us, our worst characteristics emerge bigger than the demons we fear.
But if we can NAME our fear, and see it for what it truly is–a ridiculous exaggeration of the worse case scenario–we stop the cycle.
We show up stronger, and have the strength to lead from a place of bigger confidence.
Name your fear. Visualize it. Face it. And discover what makes it ridiculous.
I agree with Seth, “the worst trolls are in your head.” Give them a name. Laugh at them. And lead well.