I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded. I’ve been criticized much more than I’ve been complimented. I’ve been thrown into circumstances that I’ve never been in before many more times than finding myself somewhere familiar. And because of those truths, it makes me fearful that those trends will continue and I will ultimately find myself unemployed, alone and isolated.
Maybe you can relate. I make decisions … worried that it won’t work out. I assign tasks … scared that they won’t follow through. I lead the team into the future … doubting that goals will be accomplished. Sound familiar at all?
Don’t get me wrong, I wish that fear wasn’t a part of my life. I sincerely hope that, one day, I’ll be in a place where I have so much confidence that fear dare not rear its ugly face. But that day is not today.
And the truth is that we leaders don’t do a good job at all of sharing these fears. We don’t want to get vulnerable or seem like we don’t have it all together. Although I don’t advocate this, I completely understand. But, I have come to find over the many years of leadership that we all share at least some of these fears.
I want you to hear and be encouraged by this: If you have fear as you lead, you are completely NORMAL. There is nothing wrong with you and it absolutely does not mean that you shouldn’t be in leadership at all (both are thoughts that I’ve had).
Before going any further, let’s take a look at four fears in particular. These are four fears that I believe many leaders have in common. Some of these are more overt fears than others, but if you have any of them, it could be the reason that you aren’t reaching your potential as a leader.