Have you ever met an insecure leader?
Well, have we ever met?
Unfortunately, I fit the bill sometimes.
But I think anyone who's a leader and a human being is going to struggle with insecurity in some shape or form.
LIL is short for "Little Insecure Leader."
We all have a LIL or a “Little Insecure Leader” inside of us. But the important part is keeping it in check.
If you let the LIL take over, then it could sabotage everything.
I’m going to share some honest struggles with you. These are the same things that Joe Bob, Sally Sue, and maybe even you’ve struggled with too.
Here are 7 Signs that your Little Insecure Leader is showing:
1. You apologize. A LOT.
“Why are you sorry?” This is a question I get asked sometimes. If I am constantly apologizing for doing what I’m supposed to do, then when I really need to apologize no one is going to take me seriously.
Apologize when you need to, and not because you're afraid your leadership is an inconvenience.
2. You never apologize.
You never own up when you make a mistake. Why? You’re afraid people will perceive it as a weakness and as a consequence, they'll then walk all over you. But you're not Jesus, so…you’re going to make mistakes.
Own up. It shows people you're human - that you not only need grace, but you’re willing to accept it.
3. You talk negatively about those you lead when they aren’t around.
Gossip does not look good on anyone. You want to compromise the trust of your team? Gossip is the quickest way. Now the person hearing what you said knows you’re willing to do the same thing to them with others. You're probably most tempted to talk badly about someone when you're afraid their actions reflect poorly upon you.
As a leader, commit to be the one putting out the fires, not starting them.
4. You assume everyone is annoyed by your leadership.
Someone has to lead or everything goes to pot. So, you lead half-heartedly because what if everyone just wants you to go away? This is closely related to apologizing all the time, but it manifests itself in what looks like indifference.
Lead with passion. In every area. All the time.
5. You’re paranoid.
You’re so suspicious that everyone wants to take you out, you have trouble sleeping at night. So, you default to self-preservation. Everyone else is expendable. Its no good driving the bus if you keep throwing your passengers under it.
Instead of trying to "neutralize" your enemy (aka your team members), focus on neutralizing your fears.
6. You try to control all the things, EVER.
Whether it means failing to delegate or micromanaging your team into the ground. You bear the burden of every aspect of leadership and decision making on your own. Ideation, implementation, execution, and follow-through are all on you.
Control is an illusion. You have to get comfortable with the idea that sometimes you'll try your best and things still won't go as planned, no matter who's running the show.
7. You never confront any issues.
Instead of talking to a member of your team, either you take their ball away until they go home or, you just wait for it to “blow over”, unwilling to admit that the problem will inevitably present itself again if not taken care of.
Secure leaders are willing to have the hard conversations.
So how do we, as leaders, find security when leadership sometimes feels like your pants are going to fall off...in public...at any moment?
There is only one effective way that I know of. Our security cannot lie in our ability, our charisma, or in our general awesomeness. It has to rest in something or Someone bigger than us.
The times when my insecure leader shows the most are when:
I’m not sure that I’m called or qualified
when I get scared that others don’t think I’m called or qualified.
We must remember, it’s the Lord who calls and qualifies. The primary goal is not getting to be the one in charge, but in making sure the mission is accomplished.
Ultimately, God's opinion is the only one that matters. We cannot waste our time trying to convince ourselves and others when there's a job to be done.
So hunker down with your team and dig in together.
As for the LIL...
LIL can go take a time out. Like, forever.
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