As leaders, we face many challenges. Often times they’re operational, financial, or are to some degree, external challenges. Sometimes though our greatest challenges can come from within.
In 1978 Dr Pauline Clance and Dr Suzanne Imes published "The Impostor Phenomenon in High Achieving Women" In it, is described the phenomenon of someone perceiving intellectual phoniness or fraudulence within themselves.
Over time more has been understood about this condition, now often referred to as Imposter Syndrome, and the types of people it affects.
For many professions, continuing professional development (CPD) (usually technical) is seen as a necessity, a vital part of work and individual development. The Law Society of Scotland sets out that Scottish solicitors have to do a minimum of 20 hours’ CPD a year, and Scottish teachers recognise its importance with 35 hours’ CPD expected a year.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” - Robert F. Kennedy
Failure is often what leaders fear the most, yet it is often the catalyst for successful leadership and can be used as a powerful tool for reaching great success. Smart leaders are those who use failure to assess their options and to keep digging until their vision is met. The bottom line is, leaders must fail in order to succeed. When Thomas Edison was asked how it felt to fail 1000 times, he replied ‘I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.’
Rising to the top comes with a great deal of responsibility and is often associated with higher levels of stress. By nature, leaders are hard-working and fiercely committed to driving their organisation towards a prosperous future.
If you have experienced imposter syndrome as a leader, you’re in good company. Sheryl Sandberg, Howard Schultz and Arianna Huffington are among many successful leaders who have admitted to struggling with feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy.
Effective leaders understand that goal-setting is necessary for team cohesion and defining measurable metrics. Goal setting gives direction, and direction improves collaboration. Goals enable you and your team to recognise when you are on track. The goals you choose can help inspire and motivate your team.
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