7 Traits of an Insecure Leader

Insecurity always shows up in a person’s life. It can be disguised, but it can’t be hidden. Insecure leaders, or people who aren’t secure in who they are personally or comfortable with their abilities, display some common characteristics.

Here are 7 traits you may see in an insecure leader:

Defensive towards any challenge – The insecure leader flares his or her insecurity when ideas or decisions made are challenged in any way. They remain protective of their position or performance.

Protective of personal information – The insecure leader keeps a safe distance from followers. Their transparency is limited to only what can be discovered by observation. When personal information is revealed, it’s always shared in the most positive light.

Always positions his or herself out front – Insecure leaders assume all key assignments or anything that would give attention to the person completing them. They are careful not to give others the spotlight.

Limits other’s opportunities for advancement – The insecure leader wants to keep people under his or her control, so as to protect their position.

Refuses to handle delicate issues – Insecure leaders fear not being liked, so they often ignore the most difficult or awkward situations.

Makes everything a joke – One huge sign of an insecure leader is that they make a joke about everything. Joking is a coping mechanism used to bring attention and a false sense of being liked to the insecure leader.

Overly concerned about personal appearance – Some insecure leaders are never far from a mirror. They are overly conscious of their clothing. Afraid of not being in style or being accepted as hip or cool, they are constantly looking for the latest fashion trends or attempting to be cutting edge with the gadgets they carry.

Please understand, all of us have moments of insecurity. Leaders, especially if they want to be effective, must learn to recognize signs of insecurity, figure out the root causes of it, and attempt to limit that insecurity from affecting their leadership.

What other traits have you seen that indicate someone is an insecure leader?

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.

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