No One Is Hanging on Your Every Word
Inexperienced leaders can become fixated on what others think of them. They can become overly concerned with, and influenced by, the anticipated perceptions others might have of their choices, decisions, and messages. Bordering on paranoia, some leaders can be so concerned with such opinions that they can become consumed with attempting to outthink their critics, guessing how others will interpret their every move. Leaders with this focus often think people hang on their every word, waiting to judge and second-guess their every decision.
Leaders obsessing over others’ opinions is never good for leadership. Those who hyper-focus on what others think make questionable choices. When the opinions of novices matter as much as experts, leaders make bad decisions.
As leaders gain experience, they discover an amazing fact: no one was paying that much attention to them in the first place. Over time, the best leaders care less about what people think of them and more about how to skillfully execute on strategy and achieve results. By focusing on what matters, continually improving processes, and not trying to please everyone, good leaders keep what others think about them in perspective. When they overcome their own fears and self-doubt, the best leaders eventually come to understand that no one cared all that much about them anyway.
The minute you stop obsessing about what others think is the minute you start being the leader you can and should be.