We dream of being in charge, sitting in meetings making decisions and changing things. And at the same time we fear turning into one of “them”: the people we consider typical managers. When it’s time to lead, you’ll feel scared of losing your identity (and your peers) and insecure about your abilities. You may try to fly under the radar, mirroring other people’s behaviour to avoid drawing attention to yourself. In your attempts to avoid judgement you risk losing yourself. Leadership is lonely, and when everything you do seems fake, it’s tempting to run away.
Fight to stay you: find the courage to lead by making yourself vulnerable. As you open up to others, realise that they have similar challenges. Colleagues whose masks scared you at first will become peers. You’ll end up proud to be a leader.
Learn to lead as yourself:
Laura calls herself, “a girl with a social science degree standing her ground in the online business world.” She juggles old school management practices, technology-loving developers, business objectives, and user experience as Team Lead Product at AutoScout24 in Munich.