Tag Archives: Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome

Imposter – Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are….to own a business?

You’re the Owner and/or Managing Director of your business. It could be any business – but let’s say it’s an IT business.  You have been running the business for a couple of years, maybe more than a couple.

You started this business because you loved what you did working for someone else in the IT support or IT development business.  But maybe you didn’t love the lack of focus on customer support.  Or perhaps you didn’t feel the staff were treated as well as they could be – or paid as much as they should be.  Maybe your boss was a nightmare, and you couldn’t wait to get away from them.

So, you started your own business, full of enthusiasm and knowing exactly what you were going to do differently.

And it all started well.  You got some new customers, and they were happy, so they talked about you to others.  And before you knew it you were too busy and so you hired someone.  And then a few more.

Now here you are a few years in – with maybe 10 – 20 staff.  And you’re getting too busy again.  You need people to step up as a leader in your business. 

But there is just one problem. 


You have imposter syndrome.  Often you wonder what on earth you are doing, and constantly berate yourself for getting it wrong when it comes to leading your people and your business.  The inner voice is constantly shouting – WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE….to be the boss. 

So many business owners suffer from imposter syndrome, it’s crazy.  No really – it IS crazy.  It’s crazy to beat yourself up for not being perfect at something you have probably never had any training on how to do. 

Would you pick up a gold club for the first time and expect to do a hole-in-one?  Of course not.  Would you pick up a Mary Berry cookbook for the first time and expect to turn out the perfect cake or gourmet 5 course meal?  That would be silly, right?

It’s Not Imposter Syndrome

So why do we think that the minute we start a business or get promoted to a management position, we are suddenly going to be a great leader?  It’s not going to happen.  It’s not imposter syndrome, it is just the crazy pressure we are putting on ourselves to be good at something that actually takes work and practice, and knowledge.

But like any other skill, managing your team for maximum performance is a skill that can be learned. 

Learning to lead is a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. There are 3 pillars, 9 accelerators, and they all have to go together. The thing is, as your business grows you have to change the way you show up and the way you are thinking and behaving. If you don’t, you will not have the impact, confidence, and influence to grow the team to be able to step up in the business.

You will constantly hold yourself back, do more “stuff” than you should be doing and be the busy boss you never wanted to have or to be. So, stop thinking of it as “imposter” and start thinking in terms of growing, learning, and implementing new tools, techniques and approaches.

It is simple, but not always easy.  The biggest hurdle can be identifying what is missing and understanding what to do about it.  So I have decided to make it easy for you.  You can take my 14 minute crash course here. 

It’s a crash course in creating Impact and Influence and is especially for Quiet Leaders and Introvert Business Owners.

In this free video training, I show you:-

The 9 accelerators to creating high-performing teams (and which one 97% of leaders should concentrate on now). I will also show you how to transform your impact from ‘luke-warm’ to ‘on-fire.  And I’ll share with you how to have your own Team Performance Engine, working for your business, whether you are there or not.

Access the free training here.  

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 julie@thinkbedoleadership.com