7 Traits of an Insecure Leader

Insecurity always shows up in a person’s life. It can be disguised, but it can’t be hidden. Insecure people, or people who aren’t secure in who they are personally or comfortable with their abilities, display some common characteristics.

Here are 7 traits you may see in an insecure leader:

Defensive towards any challenge – The insecure leader flares his or her insecurity when ideas or decisions made are challenged in any way. They remain protective of their position or performance.

Protective of personal information – The insecure leader keeps a safe distance from followers. Their transparency is limited to only what can be discovered by observation. When personal information is revealed, it’s always shared in the most positive light.

Always positions his or herself out front – Insecure leaders assume all key assignments or anything which would give attention to the person completing them. They are careful not to give others the spotlight.

Limits other’s opportunities for advancement – The insecure leader wants to keep people under his or her control, so as to protect their position.

Refuses to handle delicate issues – Insecure leaders fear not being liked, so they often ignore the most difficult or awkward situations.

Makes everything a joke – One huge sign of an insecure leader is that they make a joke about everything. Joking is a coping mechanism used to bring attention and a false sense of being liked to the insecure leader.

Overly concerned about personal appearance – Some insecure leaders are never far from a mirror. They are overly conscious of their clothing. Afraid of not being in style or being accepted as hip or cool, they are constantly looking for the latest fashion trends or attempting to be cutting edge with the gadgets they carry.

Please understand, all of us have moments of insecurity. Leaders, especially if they want to be effective, must learn to recognize signs of insecurity, figure out the root causes of it, and attempt to limit that insecurity from affecting their leadership.

What other traits have you seen that indicate someone is an insecure leader?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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20 thoughts on “7 Traits of an Insecure Leader

  1. Insecurity in leadership is like the Plague. It can be very draining and discouraging to deal with. Thanks for the post. Many times insecure leaders make you think (or try to make you think) that something is wrong with you and that you don't really see what is truly apparent–their insecurity.

  2. Mass communication pieces for everything. More company-wide memos and email than personal communication.

  3. Hello Rob,

    Insecure leaders unfortunately don't hire talented people or train the people they lead. Great post!

  4. Thanks Ron for sharing. I like your conclusion. I have also found myself at times fighting with what I had never thought that it was insecurity. Your sharing has opened my eyes to know and therefore find ways of overcoming that issues.

  5. Some other traits that I have you seen in an insecure leader:

    — Always passing the buck
    — Punishing the messenger
    — Not listening
    — Playing favorites
    — Claiming credit that he don't deserve

  6. I think this is an oversimplified.set of insecurity flags. If only it were that obvious. Still, it is a good thing to ponder. And, lastly, as a teacher, I need to.say there is no such word as hisself, it should read “him” or herself.

  7. It seems as though they have a lot of “busy” work. Programs that appear to be moving in a forward direction, but never really crossing the threshold of responsibility, confrontation, always staying in a safe conmfort zone.
    I think it goes with the one you mentioned before with wanting to be in style; they just aren’t willing to put themselves on the line, no self-sacrifices. Usually talk a good game, but no show.
    Twitter: bryankr