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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Why leaders should push themselves to be brave even when they don’t feel it

Why leaders should be brave even when they don't feel like it

The importance of learning, growing, and changing is relevant to anyone who wants to become a better person. This time, it is never more so needed than the coronavirus pandemic. And at such times, leaders are quite affected in terms of their behavior, consequences, and way of thinking. The stress is real, and everybody is sprinting around trying to make things better. Amidst this, can we clearly see what we are really doing, and can we alter our course to better ourselves in this crisis?  When you’re in charge—it is easy to feel like an imposter—but the ones who manage to put up a brave face will reap the ultimate benefits of his/her actions and decisions. 

Being a leader creates a dilemma and lots of conflicts, and that’s a norm we must accept. Our choices derive our consequences, and the very act of leadership may be a choice for some, while it merely happens for others.

Leader’s Voices was a research project conducted in 2020, during the pandemic. And from the basis of this research, the imposter syndrome is said to have prevailed amongst the leaders of today. The participants confided that they have experienced feeling out of depth or feel like they don’t belong, and soon they will be found out. Many leaders agreed that they have faltered too often and had bent themselves out of shape to fit in; the inner voice of the imposter would follow them almost every day.

But with hindsight, most leaders saw that feeling inferior was a sort of a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it was often what encouraged them to work hard and achieve their goals, but on the other, it left them unable to celebrate their success or take pride in a job well done. As a result, this can take its toll on mental health, even in a most esteemed leader.

Despite the feeling of substandardness, they pushed themselves to be brave. “Get out of your comfort zone,” “be brave, be bold,” “keep pushing yourself,” and “you’re a leader for a reason” is the kind of coaching we’ve all given to our younger selves. And now, we need to advocate the need to “fail at times, because it’s okay.” And yes, it’s okay. Maybe you failed to motivate your employees today, or you could have done better during last Tuesday’s presentation, or you simply feel like a failure because of all the stress that’s consuming your creative and proactive side.

We argue that we are all leaders in some way or another. We also tend to come together in the name of leadership to help make this place better for everyone. As parents, we undoubtedly seek to act as leaders and be role models to guide our children. We try to help them learn for themselves while making them aware of any boundaries. We can do the same by bringing these same capabilities to work with us. Let the leaders’ voices push us to be brave and take pride in doing so.

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