Conquer your fear of leadership!
You ask yourself, now that I’m a leader, what’s next?
Ever found yourself in a situation where you didn’t know exactly what you were supposed to know to pull off a new job effectively?
Chills run up and down your spine now that you’ve been promoted to a new leadership role, and you are unsure about your new responsibilities and how best to handle them.
As a team member, you worked according to a set protocol. But when you get promoted and reach the next level, you are given new responsibilities to consider and implement.
It is this reason why many new leaders feel an adrenaline rush and experience fear before stepping fully into the new job role. Call it pressure to perform or inner doubts about your capabilities, but fear does create anxiety.
Here are some of the common fears new leaders face and a few ways through which these fears can be overcome:
1. The Sharp Sting of Criticism
Criticism, whether right or wrong, is bound to happen when you are in a new job role where you are required to be the leader. It’s an obvious fact that you will not know all the responsibilities of a leadership role, so your shortcomings will be highlighted more than your capabilities and skills.
The testing times are when you have to make a decision, but your lack of experience hinders you from doing this in the right way.
So what exactly can you do here?
Take each criticism as a motivating force and make it a learning experience. Another thing you can do is get feedback from your team members to know if they are happy with the new policies or the working styles incorporated.
Conduct inter-team surveys where each member anonymously gives feedback on how you are performing as a leader.
2. Fear of Failure
Fear of failure can wreak havoc on you and zap your positive energy. Failing at anything sucks and can make you feel miserable for a while.
While being a leader, you can face failures of many kinds; bad financial decisions, bringing in the wrong employees, promising too much, and delivering little, to list a few.
Another challenge can be that you are made the leader of a team that is in an entirely different department or domain.
But failures are part of life, and you can’t stop them from entering your life, so what exactly can you do?
Be calm and interact with your team members to know their psyches. Be aware of the organizational goals and conduct meetings with other leaders to know what tactics and strategies they are following in order to streamline yours and thus learn more.
Apart from this, do not underestimate the support your family and friends can offer you at this moment. Talk to them and share your fears with them, and you will get a lot of strength to ‘face the music.
3. New Working Relationships
You are out of your comfort zone now, leaving behind a team that you used to work with. It’s time to do some serious work now, which is being a leader and leading a team of professionals.
There will be instances where you will have to create new relationships with existing leaders and adjust to their working styles and attitudes.
This will appear tough at first, as even under good circumstances, it takes time to establish productive new work relationships.
Collaborate as much as you can. This is a nascent stage when people will have an impression of you based on other people’s thoughts about you. So, the best antidote is to go at your own pace when creating relationships with peers at your level.
Through this, you will be able to know people much better and also make a good impression. For a leader, it is essential to communicate and be assertive at the same time.
4. Making Quick Decisions
It’s not that you can’t make decisions, but the fact is that a leader has to have a presence of mind in order to tackle situations and mitigate risks.
You may fear that your analysis may sound more like paralysis. The fact is for a leader, it is important that whatever the situation, the leader has to be quick and decisive in making decisions.
Get the facts. You can make decisions and compromises along the way as opportunities arise.
Pushing forward in haste and making knee-jerk decisions will always lead to problems, so be prepared and make use of the information in hand. Remember, past experiences and data can also help you make good decisions.
Conquering your fear of leadership is an ongoing process so it’s critical to start working to overcome the source of your fear before entering into a new job role.
First, take an introspective look to identify what scares you and why. Second, make an action plan that incrementally helps you work through those fears.
How Do You Conquer Your Fear of Leadership?
If you have ideas about conquering your fears that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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