The 3 Fears of Leaders

The 3 Fears of Leaders

Contributor: Katie Karpinski

With Halloween right around the corner, it draws to mind childhood memories of hiding from the monster under the bed, or leaving the light on to prevent the boogie man from sneaking in at night. While we may grow out of these fears (hopefully) we develop new fears throughout our life. Becoming a new leader is a major transition and can be pretty scary—but you’re not alone! It’s completely natural to feel a little spooked when becoming a new leader. Check out these 3 common fears of leadership and how you can overcome them!

Fear of failure

Perhaps the most obvious fear on this list, the fear of failure is a big one among emerging leaders. As a leader, all eyes are on you to ensure that all team members are working efficiently, effectively, and cohesively. Not to mention that you are also responsible for the overall success of your department, project or even the business itself! When faced with decisions you may take the easy road to prevent potential complications. Or even worse; you may shrink from your position all together. While the pressure to succeed may certainly be overwhelming at times, you cannot let the fear of failure prevent you from accomplishing your goals! Try to avoid imagining worst case scenarios and start thinking about everything you can achieve. Also, don’t let failure be the bad word it’s grown to be—sometimes failure can lead to the best outcomes!

Fear of making the tough decisions

Upon becoming a new leader, you are going to be expected to make important decisions. Whether it’s the decision to expand into a new market, or the decision to fire a slacking team member, having the final say in a serious matter can be very stressful. For some people, this fear of decision-making can even prevent them from progressing in their career. It’s important to understand that being a leader takes a certain level of confidence and assertiveness. Don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions! It’s easy to second guess yourself when making a decision, but by taking all the knowledge that you and your team share you are likely to make the right choice. Even more so, if you do ever make a bad decision remember that it’s not indicative of failure—what’s important is that you learn from that decision and use it to further advance your goal.

Fear of success

This may sound silly—I mean who’s afraid of success? But the reality is that sometimes success can lead to some pretty scary stuff! You may be comfortable in your current position and not want to enter into completely unknown territory, or you might fear what this new success may do to your work relationships. The thing is, as hard as change can be at times, it’s a necessary part of learning and growing! When you become too comfortable at your job, its time to take a look at where you can improve and grow even more. So, don’t let that fear of success hold you back; rather, let it motivate you even further to pursue your goals!


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