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Are you wearing the pants? 6 unspoken fears of senior leaders

You’re about to share the company’s financial performance with key stakeholders…

There’s a notable split in sentiment. “Sub-par performance,” is mumbled. Pressure. It’s your cue to weigh in on the figures. Everyone turns to you. The room’s quiet. You glance down to take a breath, and suddenly realise…

you’re not wearing the pants!

Afraid of dropping the leadership baton? So are other leaders…

Tips on tackling 6 unspoken fears of senior leaders

Aside from recurring nightmares (and we’ll leave those to Freud), very real fears affect today’s senior leaders. Here are my top six, with a tip or word of advice on how to manage each… while keeping your pants on.

1. The fear of being emotionally vulnerable

It's ok to let your team see that you are human. In fact, it’ll make you accessible to your people. We all operate with emotion. Use your EQ with insight and with the understanding that we connect, in part, through emotion.

2. The fear of making a leadership mistake

Taking no action can often be worse than making a wrong decision. Making calls is the brief and wrong decisions, in most situations, can be reversed or controlled. You might also make the best choice with the information at hand.

3. The fear of consulting the team

Leaders often think that they need to have all the answers. Not true. Knowing how to acquire opinions and use these to reach the right answer is far better. To yield extraordinary results, bring your people together with an independent facilitator, with you (the leader) as a part of the team/workshop.

4. The fear of not knowing how to develop a company or organisational vision

Like most things, developing strategic direction can be learnt. Following a rigorous process will help leaders articulate ideas that can be developed into a vision. Again, an independent consultant who’s versed in vision alignment and strategy development will help extract this process and the key vision.

5. The fear of creating arguments within the leadership team

Although it might be uncomfortable, healthy debate leads to understanding. And, empathy for different views is vital for business success. Once all outlooks are understood, the best route becomes mutually agreed upon.

 6. The fear of setting behaviour boundaries

Quite simply, your people need to know what's acceptable behaviour and what’s not. As a leader, those boundaries are yours to establish and taking charge of this sooner rather than later will guide your team from the outset.

My years’ experience in corporate consulting make me sure of one thing: as leaders, we’re united in common fears. The thing is, these fears needn't have the influence we allow them. There are great techniques that enable you to lead and manage with confidence. If you'd like to know more, send me an email. 

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