Insecurity,” that was the answer Johnny Sirpilla gave me during one of my recent podcasts. I was asking questions about conflict. Unnecessary conflict. Why do so many leadership teams struggle to work together? To get things done?

Insecurity (noun)

  1. Uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence:
    she had a deep sense of insecurity | he’s plagued with insecurities.
  2. The state of being open to danger or threat; lack of protection:
    growing job insecurity | the insecurity of wireless networks.

Both definitions help us examine ourselves and our leadership skills.

I don’t think insecurity by itself is our greatest threat, it’s the lack of conscious awareness of its presence. When we operate from unconscious insecurity we:

  • Sense a threat that most often does not exist
  • We speak too quickly or not at all
  • We are slow to take responsibility
  • We blame
  • Anxiety increases along with our heart rate
  • We are not enjoying our work or relationships
  • We are unproductive

As you become aware of your insecurities, you’ll have a better chance of transforming them into something more productive for you and your team. This requires humility. When we humbly articulate our insecurities or lack of knowledge or understanding, empathy is invited into the environment. When both humility and empathy are active, collaboration, safety, and movement happens.

Your insecurities can give birth to humility and empathy.
After that, almost anything is possible.


If you want to check out the podcast featuring Johnny Sirpilla that was referred to earlier, listen to Today Counts Episode 30 where he covers his new book, Life is Hard But I’ll Be OK.

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