Leaders Are Allowed to Have Doubts Too

I’m a bit frustrated. I want to say that right off the bat so there’s no guessing. I’d even go a step further and say at times I get more than a “bit” frustrated. I actually get downright angry.

So you have some perspective, the main source of my frustration is the new role I’ve taken on in my career. It’s been just over two months since I’ve received this promotion and I honestly have to say that it’s been a challenge.

Sometimes I’m disappointed. In myself first for not being able to make things happen at the pace that I expected. And even though there are factors involved in preventing my ideas getting implemented as urgently as I feel they need to be, the fact is I’m the one who needs to get it done.

And I don’t want to sound too fatalistic. We’ve had a lot of good things happen to our clubs since my taking over. I can be confident in saying that we are moving in the right direction. But there’s a certain pressure I put on myself to perform. And performance at this level means measurable results. So my frustration comes from not seeing the work I put in manifest into the results I expect.

Yes, the ideas I am trying to implement require those involved to approach things in a different way. In some cases, it requires changing entire systems. In other instances, it will take allocating capital to give me the resources I need to make these changes happen. And I believe wholeheartedly that my ideas will greatly benefit the entire company.

But it hasn’t happened yet. Any of it. Not the way I need it to. And the only person I can point to is me. The only person my team can point to is me. And so I find myself feeling frustrated, angry at myself, and wondering if these things will ever happen.

In my worst moments, I ask myself “am I really helping?” I know that I’m doing my job and I’ve done well over the years. I wouldn’t be in this position if I wasn’t. But I have to admit that sometimes there’s a seed of doubt lurking in the back of my mind. And every once in awhile that seed tries to sprout this toxic idea that I’m really not helping anyone.

Those of you who know me and are reading me say this may be a bit surprised. But that’s the point. I don’t want anyone feeling like I’m invincible. That just because I’ve been successful means that I don’t have doubts.

I think it’s easy for people I work with to see me and assume that I don’t have any problems. That there are no chinks in my armour. I actually think I have a lot to do with giving people that impression.

But that’s not the reality. And I’m learning that as a leader having brief moments of insecurity doesn’t make me weak. Part of what makes me a great leader is that I’m able to fight through these insecurities and still make things happen.

I don’t let my doubts get me down. I accept them and use these doubts to motivate me to action. Because no matter how difficult the first few months of my new role has been, or how daunting the challenges ahead, I trust myself enough to know that I’ll find a way to come out on top.

And coming out on top means everyone wins. My team, our clients, the “higher ups,” and our entire company. That’s the goal. But I think it’s important that in reaching those goals to acknowledge the moments I had some doubt in my own abilities.

Insecurity is normal. Fear is normal. Frustration is part of the struggle. As leaders, we need to own this truth. But we are leaders because we don’t allow any of these obstacles to stop us from executing our vision. And that’s precisely what I intend to do moving forward.


If you’re a leader out there who shares these beliefs, like and share this post. And feel free to reach out to me anytime.

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