Redworks Blog (all posts)

Strategies for Leaders to Tackle Impostor Syndrome and Cultivate Growth 



In your career, you may have experienced imposter syndrome – that nagging voice telling you that you can’t do something, you’re not good enough, you don’t know enough, or that you will labeled a fraud. 

In a previous blog article, we discussed that it’s normal for leaders to feel unsure about themselves and using these feelings for growth. If leaders acknowledge and accept that they are experiencing impostor syndrome, this will be a game-changer for them and their team.

Here are five specific actions that leaders can take to manage their impostor syndrome while nurturing growth and ambition within their teams:

  1. Encourage a Growth Mindset Culture: Actively promote a growth mindset emphasizing learning, development, and resilience. Acknowledging efforts, strategies, and progress rather than only focusing on innate talent or immediate success are actions to promote a growth mindset. By celebrating learning curves and perseverance, leaders create an environment that encourages taking risks and learning from mistakes.
  2. Openly Share Personal Experiences: Share their experiences of grappling with impostor syndrome or self-doubt. Leaders create a more relatable and supportive atmosphere by being vulnerable and sharing stories of overcoming challenges. This openness helps team members realize that feelings of doubt are common and manageable, fostering a sense of camaraderie and understanding.
  3. Provide Ongoing Feedback and Support: Regular, constructive feedback and support are crucial for individuals with impostor syndrome. Leaders can offer specific feedback highlighting strengths and areas for improvement while providing guidance and resources for skill enhancement. Regular check-ins help individuals feel supported and on track.
  4. Set Realistic and Challenging Goals: Encourage employees to set realistic yet challenging goals that push them out of their comfort zones. Setting achievable stretch goals motivates team members to strive for improvement and growth continuously. Leaders should provide adequate support and resources to help achieve these goals.
  5. Promote a Culture of Continuous Learning: Encourage continuous learning and development through workshops, training programs, mentorship, and access to resources to help combat impostor syndrome. Skill development will boost the confidence and competence level of team members. 

With these proactive steps, leaders will create an environment where team members feel supported, motivated, and empowered to manage their impostor syndrome while promoting a culture of growth and ambition.

If you are ready to power up your leadership presence and address impostor syndrome, join my colleague, Anita Torres, PCC, and me in our live virtual program. The PowerUp Your Leadership Presence – How to Beat Impostor Syndrome starts February 15th. 

For more information and to register.