Overwhelmed Leaders: Stop Insecurity From Impairing Your Leadership

When overwhelmed leaders face resistance from those they lead, they sometimes dig in their heals and make leadership mistakes. Now some people claim that if leaders are ever overwhelmed, they aren’t fit to lead. Well, if that were true (which it isn’t), then it would mean that leaders can never grow and become great.

Yet history shows us that leaders can overcome overwhelming moments and rise to the challenges. The key is to stop your insecurity from creating harmful leadership mistakes while you are learning.



Overwhelmed Leaders: Image is a fire hose.

Overwhelmed Leaders: Don’t Let Insecurity Trap You & Impair Your Leadership. Image by Mark Morgan via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Image by Mark Morgan via Flickr Creative Commons License.


Overwhelmed Leaders: Don’t Make These Mistakes

Leaders, when you are feeling overwhelmed your insecurity will be higher than usual. As we all know, insecure egos can make us do things we wouldn’t otherwise do. So, be careful in the following situations and don’t make these mistakes.

    When …

  1. You feel overwhelmed and employees show leadership ability, don’t demean or minimize them. Your insecurity may tell you that they are after your job. Ask yourself, what is making me think this? Evidence or my insecurity? If they are trying to undermine your authority, you will see it more clearly if you don’t react immediately.

  2. Your focus is on leading change and employees are resisting it, don’t start acting like a dictator. Overwhelmed leaders who react this way rarely succeed. Research shows that to lead change successfully, you must engage employees, listen to their concerns, make changes in manageable steps, and include them along the way.

  3. When Those You Lead Are Overwhelmed Too

  4. Don’t accuse them of whining and tell them to toughen up. Instead, take responsibility that you haven’t been clear. Find out what is upsetting them, ask them what they need, and make things clearer to reduce their fear. These moments give you a great opportunity to learn about your employees and how to lead them to greatness.

  5. When You Lead Those w/ More Education

  6. Don’t let your insecurity drive you to patronize them to make yourself feel better. You will lose their respect. Instead, use your leadership skills to guide them to achieve greatness with their education and know-how. You might be leading employees with greater technical skills than you have. It’s OK. Clear the obstacles for them and facilitate their success. They will see you as a great leader.

  7. When as Overwhelmed Leaders …

  8. You deny how you are feeling, you will make all these mistakes and more. You will also feel more and more overwhelmed. Denial won’t take away your fear that you aren’t a good leader. It will trap you in the fear.


Summary for Overwhelmed Leaders

I wrote this post because many leaders feel overwhelmed at one time or another. Yet, as leaders they aren’t supposed to admit it. Well you don’t have to announce it to the world. But, at least admit it to yourselves. Then use the above tips to prevent making mistakes and crushing morale.



What success have you seen or had in preventing leadership mistakes in tough times?



From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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How to Lead Colleagues Who Resent Your Promotion

©2022 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.


Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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