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One of the best decisions you can make for the new year (IF you follow through and do the work) is to effectively handle insecurity so it doesn’t derail you or your team in 2024.


One of the difficulties of handling our insecurities is owning that we have them. We masquerade and dress them up as something different. For instance, an insecure leader typically expresses their lack of confidence as mistrust – for their employees, for their employers, and even for the workplace in general. They may blame others, their subordinates, those who report under them for things that go wrong or assume that people are out to get them or are after their job.


If you're an insecure leader, you worry so much about being wrong that you put off solving problems until those problems become too big to ignore. When something goes wrong with your team, you immediately look for someone to blame.


You may surround yourself with individuals who unquestioningly agree with your ideas and decisions. Insecure leaders often feel threatened by dissenting opinions or criticism. To maintain a sense of control and validate their own beliefs, they tend to surround themselves with “yes” people who provide unquestioning agreement and flattery. 


There are great benefits of defeating insecurity and surrounding yourself with people who challenge you.


Your decisions will get better. Decisions made in an echo chamber may be flawed. By inviting critical thinkers into your inner circle, you gain access to a wider range of ideas and perspectives. This diversity of thought allows for more well-rounded and informed decision-making, ultimately leading to better outcomes.


You will grow personally. Leaders who surround themselves with challenging individuals create opportunities for personal growth. Openness to feedback and differing opinions expands personal knowledge, refines their leadership style, and develops new skills.


You will build a stronger team. Encouraging diverse perspectives and challenging discussions fosters a culture of trust and respect within the team. When team members feel heard and valued, they are more engaged, motivated, and invested in the organization's success.


The leaders must be certain to understand and convey the importance of maintaining an environment of respect and courtesy, handling disagreements with tact and empathy, allowing diverse opinions to be expressed without causing division or discouraging the participation of others. The goal is a balanced dynamic between healthy debate and a cohesive team.


Even the best leaders are insecure sometimes. But it’s not OK to let your insecurity make you behave badly. Your own self-respect and that of others will soon help your confidence grow.


Watch yourself with these indicators of insecurity:


1.     An insecure leader won’t take advice. Teams work better when they feel as if they can speak up freely. There is a better chance of improving your team’s performance when you aren’t the only person coming up with good ideas. An insecure leader will stop taking input from their team because they feel as if this lets people challenge their authority. The it’s “my way or the highway” attitude is a killer.

2.     An insecure leader stops explaining their decisions. Confident leaders don’t mind explaining the reasons behind their decisions. This is because they are not scared of being wrong. An insecure leader thinks explaining gives people a chance to criticize them.


3.     An insecure leader won’t ask for help. When a leader feels insecure, they see asking for help as a sign of weakness. They feel as if they should know it all. Your ego may stop you from being a good leader.


4.     An insecure leader doesn’t like feedback. They fear it. They feel as if they are opening themselves up to criticism. Unfortunately, this attitude only reinforces itself and before long, insecure leaders can’t improve their skills. They typically stop giving it too because it opens the door to get it back. So there is complete silence, where no feedback is given in either direction.


5.     Insecure leaders tell other people how to do their jobs. Directive leadership is all about commanding your team, and it has its place. However, some insecure leaders use this style all the time because it’s harder for people to disagree. “Just do what I say” too often means “I’m scared that I’m wrong and I don’t want anyone to tell me that.”


6.   An insecure leader avoids confrontation. Some insecure leaders will avoid addressing issues that may result in conflict. If they can avoid a fight entirely, they can avoid being wrong. This results in having long-standing problems that never go away. The leader fears being wrong and losing respect.


7.     An insecure leader would rather not understand than ask questions. One of the traditional problems of leadership is that leaders should “know it all.” They are meant to know more than their team, which is why they have more responsibility. Unfortunately, often it is painfully obvious when a leader does not know what he is talking about. In reality, there is nothing wrong with asking questions to improve your understanding. It gains respect.


8.     An insecure leader micromanages. Insecure leaders love control because they can reduce the chance that they will be exposed. Micromanagement is one way to keep control by directing your team as to how they should do things.


9.     An insecure leader takes credit for the team’s successes. They take credit for the work of the team, not because it makes them feel good but because it makes them seem important. They appear more valuable and more necessary.


10. An insecure leader gets angry when a team member quits. Losing a team member can be stressful for an insecure leader. Was it my fault? Did I do something wrong? Am I a bad leader? The leader needs to process positively, or anger will take over. She is so ungrateful. He has no loyalty. They don’t know how good they’ve got it. The leader gets stuck on the faults of others rather than analyzing their own feelings, anything that needs to change, or even the way this change will end up being positive for everyone.


Pay attention to this list. Sometimes you’ll find yourself resorting to insecure behavior without even knowing it. Just because you feel insecure does not mean you need to act that way.

You are in control of your actions, even if you don’t feel confident all the time. Your 2024 will be strong if you do.


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