7 Problems Insecure Leaders Cause
MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL
The best leaders are the most secure of all.
“No amount of personal competency can compensate for personal insecurity.” ~ Wayne Smith
When it comes to leadership, security equals stability.
Personal growth and development is the cornerstone when it comes to being a secure, high impact leader. Being secure means you are not threatened by others. Once I started growing myself as a leader and noticed I was separating myself from the crowd, the first thing I began to realize was this: They’ll never catch up.
All of a sudden, the stress went away.
When you’re clearing your own path forward, you will have complete peace of mind. Why? Because you are in total control. When you’re just running with the pack, it’s every man/woman for themselves. Insecure people accuse others of back-stabbing, brown-nosing, sucking-up, etc. as they try to get ahead in the traditional world of organizational politics. They don’t have a clue…remember the area of ignorance in chapter 1? They don’t know what they don’t know.
Those are the games the insecure play. Why? They have to. They’re not growing. They’re coasting.
Secure leaders eliminate problems. Insecure leaders cause problems.
To better understand secure leaders, let’s look at insecure leaders.
7 Problems Insecure Leaders Cause
1. Employee Turnover – Insecure leaders are a major reason for employee turnover. Numerous research studies have revealed the #1 reason people leave an organization is because of the relationship with their direct boss. There’s nothing worse than reporting to an insecure leader. They terminate the good, strong team members, or they cause good, strong team members to quit. Either way, those that can truly help lift the organization and team are prevented from doing so by the insecure leader.
2. Employee Disengagement – Insecure leaders create distrust with their team members, their peers, their boss, and everyone else they interact with. It doesn’t take people long to realize an insecure leader is the first to take credit for anything the team does well. They are also the first to blame the team when things don’t go well. As a result, the team is indirectly trained by the insecure leader to withhold information and ideas. The team members only follow because they have to, and they only do what they have to.
3. Lack of Communication – Insecure leaders do not openly and freely share information, doing so would only add to their insecurity. They don’t want to help their boss, peers, or team members look good in any way. They want those on their team to know only what they need to know to do their job, and unfortunately, sometimes even less. Insecure leaders are afraid their team will learn more and become an even bigger threat.
4. Lack of Accountability – Insecure leaders are quick to point the finger of blame at anyone other than themselves. They point fingers not only at those reporting to them, but also at those who report to other leaders, at their own peers, at their boss, and at their boss’s boss (of course, behind their back where insecure leaders do most of their talking). The insecure leader’s tactics cause others to waste time and energy defending themselves.
5. Lack of Teamwork – Insecure leaders do not value teamwork because the thought of having others share their ideas openly may reveal the leader’s lack of knowledge. Insecure leaders think they should have all the answers. The insecure leader also doesn’t want his/her thinking to be challenged in front of others. In their mind, someone challenging their thinking would only weaken their already weak position. As a result of the leader’s insecurity, teamwork is discouraged using many different excuses, methods, and tactics.
6. Lack of Succession Planning – Insecure leaders do not have a plan for succession. The thought of training and developing someone to take their position goes against every fiber of their being. When asked about succession, they simply name the person on the team they think can do the best job, but they are not intentionally developing them to move up the ladder. They want to keep their team members right where they are, doing what they’re doing.
7. Low Morale – Insecure leaders create an atmosphere of low morale. The previous six problems reveal themselves as low morale. Even if team members want to work at the organization, the insecure leader has taken away their hope for the future and replaced it with anxiety about the present. Team members come to the company hoping to be respected, to matter, to advance, and to grow. However, insecure leaders create anxiety among their team. They leverage their position in threatening ways to create and maintain an anxious tension among the team.
“Saying ‘I don’t know’ when you don’t know is a sign of good leadership. Pretending to know when you don’t is a sign of insecurity. By expressing your lack of uncertainty, you give the leaders around you permission to do the same thing. You send them an important message: In this organization, it is okay not to know. It is not okay to pretend you know when you don’t.” ~ Andy Stanley