Claire writes: “A colleague in Leadership Development was telling me about some research on why senior leaders can sometimes be reluctant to engage in training and development. Most of us suffer from imposter syndrome – that fear that someone will find out that we don’t know everything about what we are doing. It appears that there is a feeling that if we engage in further training and development, it will just confirm that we are not entirely competent in what we do, so we don’t go. Interesting when vulnerability is an important leadership quality.
A couple of days later someone else talked about whether it is possible to be formed as a leader from the first chair? In the second chair, we can safely receive feedback and development and not knowing is a great quality. In some sectors that formation of leaders happens over many years. It is an interesting question for people in the church, for example, where most people start their post of first responsibility in a place where there is little or no first hand feedback from peers.
Reflection, making mistakes, learning from them and not knowing all the answers makes great leaders. So being an imposter may not be such a bad thing. After all, who wants to work with or for someone who believes they know absolutely everything?!
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