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Imposter Syndrome

Do you ever have that feeling that you are not qualified to be doing something that you were granted, and at any point you may be considered a fraud or worse yet, you feel like a fraud? For most, it is called The Imposter Syndrome. The Imposter Syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success. Bottom line, you don't feel like you deserve to be there when you absolutely do! Most people who get a significant promotion or decide to go out on their own go through this syndrome. One of the biggest side effects is that the leader feels like he/she needs to prove themselves so they either “lay down the law”, or they answer every question that comes their way which I call turning into a Human Pez Dispenser (old enough to remember those?). Great leaders should never feel the need to lay down the law and should always think of which questions they should answer, defer, or ask back. Most people have an answer in their head to the question they ask, but are either looking for validation, exposure, face time, etc. I am a huge advocate of question based leadership and turning it back on the employee so you know into which bucket they fall. It is also a great time to delegate to someone else. Both techniques demonstrate great leadership and therefore builds the new leader’s confidence. Reach out if you feel you are starting to fall into the trap of the Imposter Syndrome!

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