Stop Doing That! Dealing With Imposter Syndrome

When it comes to being a new manager or leader, and especially in a very technical environment, one of the most common things I am asked to help with is people who suffer with Imposter Syndrome.

This week I had a few responses to a post I put out about making an impact in your business.

Two of the responses were something that about half my clients could have written – though I am sure both the people who wrote them though they were the only one.

The gist of it was that they had been in a very hands on operational management role, and had recently moved into a strategic role.  They were enjoying it very much but they felt like they were being paid too much.

What do I mean by that?

First of all – having never been in this role before, they were struggling with how hands off it was.  They were enjoying spending time with their people but weren’t sure what else they should be doing.  One of them actually said, “I feel guilty – like what am I being paid for if I don’t have too much to do?”.

And both of them felt they were ‘winging it’.  In other words, they were both suffering from Imposter Syndrome. 

This is really common when moving into any new role, but especially so when you are moving from a technical to a leadership role, or an operational to a strategic role.  The feeling that if you are not actually producing something then you are not justifying your salary – is a very common feeling.

But of course, the value you bring as a Leader is not measured in how many widgets you produce but in how many widgets your TEAM produces.  And how happy they are producing those widgets.  And how happy your customers are with the widgets.  And with how happy the stakeholders or shareholders are with the outcomes.  And how happy the board are with the vision and direction.  And with a number of other things. 

The job of the leader is to lead, to inspire, to anticipate, predict and create the future for their company.  What could be more important than that?

The thing is – it is easy to see why someone who is very technical could struggle with this sort of career move. When you are technical, you measure yourself by what you produce. How many proposals have you written this month, or how much code have you written, or how many projects have you signed off.

When you become a leader – those things are still happening in your business but they are not being done directly by you, or in some cases, not even by your team (as they themselves have teams who are actually completing the work).

And so sometimes it can seem like your job is to sit in meetings.

However, the role of the leader is so vital to an organisation. Get it wrong and the cascading effect is truly awful. Many lives are affected by a leader and most people (who are unhappy) do not leave companies – they leave a specific manager or leader.

Equally – get this right and you can have a massive impact and increase productivity, creativity and results hugely. After all, 2, or 10, or 100 heads are better than 1. As long as there is just 1 vision!

So – if you feel you might be suffering from Imposter Syndrome, and would like some support with this new or potential career move – drop me a line on

What Impact Are You Having

What Impact Are You Having In Your Business?

What Impact Are You Having In Your Business?

That’s a question I often ask business owners.  You see ,when it comes to managing your business and it’s challenges, what I hear a lot of the time is, “He/She didn’t do…”, “They always…”, “They never”……

But you see, 9 times out of 10, when something is going wrong, or not going right, in your business it is YOUR fault.  Or at the very least, it is your responsibility.  Because you are probably not looking at the impact you are having (or not having) on your business.

I would go as far as to say, that if you are not planning the impact that you want to have on your business then you will still be having an impact.  It might just not be the one you were hoping for.

You see, people need leaders.

Why is it that everyone in the world doesn’t run a business/join the PTA/become a motivational speaker/go into politics and get to be a minister?  Because most people don’t want the responsibility.  They want to be inspired and motivated.  They want something or someone to believe in.  They want to belong.

Seriously, one of the biggest human needs is to belong to something.  And if you are the leader – you are out there on your own.  You don’t ‘belong’ in the same way.  And for most people that is a scary and unattractive thought.

So – leaders are vital.

However, many leaders are unaware of the impact they have on their organisation.  You’ve probably had bosses in the past that were well loved, and others that were ….well…not so loved by their teams.  Now there are different styles of leadership – some more ‘friendly’ than others.  But the very best leaders are not really ‘friends’ with their staff – but they do know their employees as individuals.

And they also know how to bring out the best in those individuals.  In fact their people are their first thought in any situation.  Because they understand that without the individuals in the business performing at their peak, you don’t have a stable business.  Therefore, it is the leaders job to understand their own impact on the business.

For example, I was working recently with a manager who thought they were a great people person.  In some ways they were.  They certainly knew and understood their staff fairly well.  They had come to being a manager through the school of hard knocks – and had experienced many bad managers – who put too many demands on their teams and managed by shouting at people.  And they were determined NOT to be that person when they opened their own business.

So, instead they did everything they could to create bonds with their team.  They didn’t put too much on anyone, and they took a lot of the load themselves.  What they didn’t understand is that they were having a massive negative impact on the business.  Not only were they making their staff feel incapable (because they did all the important stuff), they were actually preventing the business from growing.  I mean there was only one of them and there are only 24 hours in the day, and you have to sleep for some of them!

Recognising and changing this meant that the people in the business felt empowered to do their jobs, which they also enjoyed more.  This freed up the owners time to do what they had a passion for – spending time with the people in the business.  Win win.

The impact they had was a positive one – their time was now mostly spent coaching and developing their team, and therefore growing the businesses capabilities and business bandwidth.

So, let me ask you what impact are you having on your business?  If there are results in your business that you don’t like or want, then maybe you are having the wrong impact.

If you would like to attend our invitation only webinar – on how to have the RIGHT impact on your business and get the results you want – email me on and I will send you the link.

Meanwhile I am flying back to the UK tomorrow from Los Angeles – read next weeks blog to find out more about what I have been doing and how that might help your business to grow!


3D Leadership – dynamically enhancing the results of your business’™

At Transforming Performance, we believe that there are 6 crucial areas of Leadership: focus and direction, mindset, engagement, skills, impact and systems.

Transforming Performance can help with our Accelerate Your Business™ and Accelerate Solo™ programmes.

Julie Hutchison is co-Director with Jan Sargent of Transforming Performance, a consultancy which provides businesses with expert support in Leadership Coaching, Team Development and Performance Coaching, Executive Coaching, Mentoring, Training and Behavioural Profiling and help in getting the best from you and your people. If you’d like to have a chat and a coffee to discuss how we can help you, we’d love to talk. Call us on:

01722 484155 or 07947 823842