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Emotional Insecurity and Leadership – Part 1

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One of the greatest tragedies of organizational life surrounds the insecurities of her leaders. Leadership disasters happen every week, while leaders pretend the problem has to do with programs.

The fact of the matter is, the reason for many of unresolved problems within an organization is the emotional insecurity of the leader. The symptoms show up in a variety of ways: the leader fails to confront a situation. He may lack moral backbone. He may get defensive when others disagree with him. He may withdraw from a leadership function which causes others to question his leadership. He may lack the character to stand up when he isn’t liked. Because of the insecurity, the leader begins to believe lies about him or others and begins to sabotage his own leadership.

To be honest, personal insecurity is fairly easy to spot in your behavior. We fail to see it merely because we ignore it. We pretend it isn’t there by defending ourselves and diverting the focus onto something else. I want you to see below how it shows up in our lives, the dangers and examples and I trust our leaders will take heed:

Comparison – You begin to compare yourself to others. The danger here is that you ignore the unique role you and others are to play on the team. Here you ignore your task and begin to preoccupy your mind with the status of others. You grumble and complain about perceived iniquities and you judge others as less worthy of blessings than you.

Compensation – You feel like a victim, and must compensate for your inferiority. The danger here is that you fail to trust the creator by taking matters into your own hands. Friend, we feel shortcomings in one area or the other and we want to be compensated for the failures and so we begin to find ways to make ourselves successful because of compensation. Here you scheme how to get ahead and how to gain recognition. You fight irrational battles to get what you think you deserve and you may lower or degrade yourself to dishonesty and deception to get results.

Competition – You drift into self-centered patterns, trying to out-perform others. The danger here is that you become obsessed with building your own empire, and you will do anything to win. Here you tend to keep score on life. You tend to be critical and judgmental and you tend to live a self-centered life. Friend, competition has no place in leadership and should therefore be removed from our character. If you find yourself competing then you are creating insecurity for yourself. Note this: competition leads to selfishness.

Compulsion – You are driven to gain other’s approval; you are a people-pleaser. The danger here is that you risk burnout due to impure motives and unrealistic expectations. Here you get distracted from the “big picture” priorities, consumed by your own performance. You grow weary because you attempt to do too much-for the wrong reasons and you tend to be a perfectionist.

Condemnation – The judgmental attitude of yourself and others. The danger here is that you misrepresent/distorts reality and you are tempted to withdraw from responsibility. Here you have shortsighted perception of your circumstances. You complain about unjust circumstances and feel overwhelmed and you fear your own demise and insignificance.

Control – In order to validate your own worth, you feel you must take charge. The danger here is that you think win/lose, not win/win. Because you are charting your own course, you risk integrity and want to protect or jealously guard and control a special status, a position or a certain territory and often slip into the “scarcity paradigm.” Here you become self-seeking and manipulative of others and you eventually suffer from “martyr” syndrome, feeling you can’t trust others.

Friend I want you to note the law of limited good – “taking all or eating all and holding on to it at all cost.” If this is what you are I encourage you to desist from it. If you are a leader and find yourself in this position then know that you are being selfish.

For my part it’s a joy that I can be able to share with you these things. Notwithstanding, I want to be especially grateful to Dr. John C. Maxwell, America’s number one author on leadership and one who is an authority on the subject, for my journey with him as a student of leadership under his Million Leaders Mandate, in Lagos, Nigeria. Much of what I write on the subject of leadership and Motivation is from my three (3) years journey with him and his EQUIPPED Team and I am glad that I’m a part of the greatest movement the world has ever seen. I am also glad that I am fulfilling the mandate.

(Chealy Brown Dennis is a motivational speaker and offers training in leadership and organizational development; strategic planning and team building and management and offers on-location and train-the-trainer formats. Email: dennisbc2011@yahoo.com/Phone: 0886-264-611 /0776545394

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