The Dark Side of Leadership and Why You Feel Like a Poser

The Dark Side of Leadership and Why You Feel Like a Poser

chick fil a leadership coach

In my personal quest for leadership, success, and providing for the family I chased climbing the ladder of success. Our fourth girl had just been born and I was one year into being the Executive Minister at a church. I was climbing the ladder and I ended up in a place where my interior life was a wreck.

I thought I had arrived by leadership standards and what the outside world said success looked like. I was overweight, ended up with shingles, and was stressed with having too many tasks in my leadership role. I created the mess because I had a poor view of leadership success, an unstable personal identity, and worked outside my true gifting. 

Have you been there before? Operating as a great leader on the outside but on the inside, you really feel like a poser. You would never dare mention that you feel like a poser, but the exhaustion and holding it all together is silently killing you on the inside.

  • The dark side of leadership is that we are measuring success by the wrong standards.
  • The dark side of leadership is that you can easily become a shell of a person because your identity is not secure.
  • The dark side of leadership is that you leave little margin for those in your life who matter most.
  • The dark side of leadership is that you have a high leadership capacity, but it comes at the expense of holding everything together for the fear of being found out.
  • The dark side of leadership is that you likely do not have anyone sharing authentic feedback and risk losing relationships because you are not being authentic yourself.

We end up in this place primarily because of one reason. 

We are not leading from a wholeheart with a secure identity. 

Often times this can be referred to as the false self and true self. Very few leaders are operating out a true self. Very few leaders are operating out of wholeheartedness or integrity.

  • What was I chasing that left me in an unhealthy leadership position?
  • What are you chasing that is leaving you feeling like a poser or false self?

Let’s take this a step further. Where are you hiding? The chase that many of us are on is out of fear, anxiety, and more? More of what? If this continues you will end up as a shell or a facade as John Eldredge would say.

“Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a facade, an elaborate fig leaf, a brilliant disguise.”

John Eldredge

I was on a group mastermind call with great leaders and we were sharing our primary goal for the next 6 months and the obstacle that is in the way. One of the wise leaders in the group said, “Let’s step back from the conversation and notice the meta-conversation. At the core of what we are all sharing is rooted in knowing our identity.” Wow! Thankful to be surrounded by such great leaders that are willing to share honest truth in a helpful and authentic way.

Reminds me of why it is essential to be anchored in an eternal identity, be surrounded by those who call everyone to authentic standards, and pursue training for transformation.

“Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Friends it does not have to be this way. The pace. The chase. The facade. The poser. The unhealth. The dark side of leadership.

The path forward is to choose to step into the transforming light and desire to become wholehearted.

Coaching questions to answer:

  • Where is the dark side of leadership right now in your life?
  • Who is calling you to stand in the light?
  • How can you embrace a wholehearted identity?

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