Insecurity is rampant in leaders and is a leadership killer. Dan Rockwell shares ten characteristics of insecure leaders. Please read with prayer and openness!

Originally posted by Dan Rockwell

Fear begins at the top and flows down through organizations.

Insecure teams are led by insecure leaders.

You’re forced to be inconsistent, when you’re driven by the opinions of others.

Top 10 behaviors of insecure leaders:

  1. Grudge-holding. Forgiveness requires courage.
  2. Self-blaming. Insecurity may cause leaders to blame themselves for the delinquency of others. The difference between self-blame and responsibility is corrective action.
  3. Excuse-making. Insecurity prevents them from holding others accountable to their commitments.
  4. Joking. Insecure leaders make light of serious issues.
  5. Attacking and defending. Insecure leaders attack back. Rather than defending their team, they defend themselves.
  6. Nit-picking. Nit-pickers are unhappy insecure people who never truly celebrate.
  7. Meddling and Micro-managing. Nit-pickers come in after the fact. Meddlers intrude during the fact.
  8. Image-protecting. It’s all about what others think when you’re insecure.
  9. Fear mongering. The use of fear to motivate is an insecure leader’s method of motivation. 
  10. Over-explaining. Insecurity makes leaders talk too much.


Bold action springs from either confidence or fear.

Strength drives confident leaders. Dread drives the insecure.

10 ways to model confidence:

Build confidence by modeling confidence.

  1. Invite alternatives when you think you know. Insecurity needs predictability. Contrary to some opinions, confidence isn’t about having all the answers.
  2. Believe in your ability to learn when you don’t know.
  3. Practice good manners.
  4. Exercise emotional steadiness. Stay calm.
  5. Listen and make decisions.
  6. Apologize.
  7. Trust people to figure things out. Stay available but make space for others to solve problems. Too much help propagates insecurity.
  8. Spend time thinking and planning for the future.
  9. Prepare for contingencies.
  10. Honor your own mistakes by sharing what you’re learning.

Confident people go further than fearful. Successful leaders inspire boldness by instilling confidence.

What are some indications of insecurity in leaders?

What are some marks of confident leaders?