Leadership Lid: Insecurity - by Dave Jochum In Business Solutions

Dave Jochum

Published: Jan. 23, 2015, 2:47 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 23, 2015, 2:47 p.m.

"AAAAAAAUGH! I need my blanket! I admit it! Look at all of you! Who among you doesn’t have an insecurity? Who among you doesn’t depend on someone, or something, to get through the day? Who among you can cast the first stone? How about you, Sally? You with your endless "Sweet Babboos”? Or you, Schroeder? You with your Beethoven, Beethoven, Beethoven?! And you, Lucy, never leaving Schroeder alone, obsessing over someone who doesn’t care if he ever sees you again? What do you want?! Do you want to see me unhappy? Do you want to see me insecure? Do you want to see me end up like Charlie Brown?! Even your crazy dog, Charlie Brown. Suppertime, suppertime, suppertime! Nothing but suppertime 24 hours a day! ARE ANY OF YOU SECURE?!”

— Linus van Pelt pointing out that Everybody’s Insecure, Happiness Is A Warm Blanket Charlie Brown

Linus kind of "freaked out” there, didn’t he? Hey, we can all use a security blanket of one kind or another every once in a while. But, when a leader functions from insecurity as a way of life, the results can be disappointing at best and disastrous at worst.

Insecurity is defined as: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.

How is insecurity or a lack of confidence a lid on a leader’s capacity to lead and influence?

There is no doubt that insecurity in a leader leads to bad results, poor decisions by the leader, poor performance by the people, lack of trust, and disunity among the team. In fact, insecurity is the root of many problems of a poor leader.

What is needed is confident leadership.

A friend of mine recently shared a post about his 5 year old son. The boy had on a pair of shoes that were tattered and worn. My friend said to him, "Son, you can’t wear those shoes to church. They look terrible.” To which, the 5 year old replied, "Daddy, I’m so handsome nobody will even notice my shoes.”

Now that’s confidence!

Confidence is about being secure as a leader. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and with who you are as a person.

Secure leaders will . . .

  1. Think of others before themselves. That’s servant leadership.
  2. Want the best for their people, always seeking to be a blessing to them.
  3. Share information and communicate with their people.
  4. Encourage the growth of others even if it means they surpass the leader.
  5. Believe in their people in when their people don’t believe in themselves.

If you work with an insecure leader, do your best to support them, help them to succeed, and gain their trust. Once they see that you are trying to help them and not harm them, they may begin to loosen up and feel more secure about their leadership. If not, you may need to find another team.

If you lack confidence in your leadership, find a trusted friend in whom you can confide. Talk through the challenges you have in feeling insecure. Read some books or enroll in a study that will help you gain confidence in the areas in which you feel a lack. And remember this: everyone struggles with insecurity to some degree. Vin Diesel said this, "It’s insecurity that is always chasing you and standing in the way of your dreams.” Don’t let insecurity keep you from reaching your full potential as a leader and reaching your maximum level as an influencer. And don’t let a little insecurity throw you into a Linus-like freak out mode!

Recommendation – A great book to read on this topic is, "Today, We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence,” by Tim Sanders.