I’m guessing the title of this article got your attention. Do I hear a collective, “Huh?”
The fact is, no one wants to follow an insecure leader. Leaders are supposed to have (or know where to find) the answers. Leaders are supposed to respond to the needs of their people, to provide a sense of security in uncertain situations. Leaders are supposed to build a team that, when the occasion warrants, can outshine them.
We talked about the four traits of insecure leaders on the November 5 Leadership Insight show. And then I saw this shockingly illustrated by a leader in our area. He was being interviewed about the storm efforts and was confronted with a question from someone who had lost his home. This leader refused to talk to the person and instead literally turned his back and muttered something like “talk to my press person”. This is a perfect illustration of an insecure leader. He had no solutions and no team and was therefore too insecure to lead, let alone even speak with the storm victim. At first glance, one might consider this to be a pride issue, but if you drill down, you will see that it is really an insecurity issue.
If you’ve ever been in a situation where a manager or supervisor came across as arrogant, demanding, selfish, and overbearing, it could very well be a security issue. Sometimes insecurity masks itself as pride.
Now, while you cannot change another person, you CAN look at your own leadership skills to be sure you are not “that leader”.
Here are the four key points Dave Gambrill and I discussed on the show.
1. Provide Security For Others
Always look ahead and have a plan. In times of uncertainty, people need someone who can quickly step up to the plate and take charge. Prepare now. Be that person.
2. Give More Than You Take
A good leader gives more than they take. If you’re in something just for what you can get out of it, then you are not a good leader. I think of John F. Kennedy’s quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” What can you do for your country, your company, your ministry, your family? We’ll be talking about servant leadership on the upcoming Leadership Insight show. It is better to be a servant leader than an insecure leader any day.
3. Don’t Limit Your Best People
As a leader, one of your main duties is not to do all the work yourself, but to find individuals who do each part of the work better than you could do. This is the mark of great leaders. They invest in helping their people be the best they can be.
4. Don’t Limit Your Organization
This ties closely to the previous point because if you are helping to grow your people, your organization will naturally follow course. Limit your people and you limit your organization. And essentially, you limit yourself.
You can be
You can be
Your world needs you to be