Your need to be liked as a leader is the number one issue that keeps your business, practice, or workplace from realizing the success you seek.  

A close second is the desire to avoid conflict at all costs.


A very long time ago, before you were capable of critical thinking, you adopted a personality.

Your experience of the world around you formed your core values. And, the people who raised you instilled a set of beliefs in you which were instilled in them when they were young too.

Some of these beliefs were less than inspiring. 

Narratives like, “You’re not athletic,” “You’re horrible at math,” “You never follow through with anything,” “You’re not book smart,” “You’re always going to struggle in life if you choose to do…”

You get the idea.

Underlying all of those narratives you absorbed from the well-meaning people in your life is the undercurrent of, “You’re not good enough,” or “You’re not worthy.”

And, once you’re old enough to start analyzing the thoughts you think, those tunes playing on repeat inside your head have the power to stifle you as a leader, both personally and professionally.  

Because ultimately, all you want is to be liked, respected, and appreciated for who you are without judgment. At least, that’s how you came into this world.


Fast forward to young adulthood. 

Now you’re at a time in your life when emotions run high as your body chemistry changes. While you want nothing more than to believe you can be, do, or have anything you want, you’re still struggling with your internal dialogue.

Believing you’re not good enough or worthy of what you want causes overwhelming fear when you’re a leader.


Simply put, leaders are goal setters. High-achievers. Yet those goals they pursue tend to be external. 

So, even if a leader believes they are unworthy and are riddled with confidence issues, they will often reach plenty of external milestones that would lead you to believe they have their act together.

They portray that image so skillfully because they’ve become the peacekeeper. Often going to great lengths to “will” the need for approval and external validation into overpowering their subconscious programming of “not good enough.”


Here’s the problem with trying to “out-think” your subconscious or reptilian brain that’s in charge of your survival.

Close to 95% of your day to day activities you perform on autopilot. Which means you have habits and routines that you do without thinking about what you need to do or how you need to do them.

For example, when you wake up in the morning, you don’t think about the steps you take to get ready for work that day. You automatically do them. 

Now, think about all the people you lead or manage on your team. Just like you, they’re working 95% of the time on autopilot.

And, when things don’t go the way someone on your team wants them to, they will also result in their subconscious programming to “survive” or get what they want.

Maybe you’ve attempted multiple times to get a task completed by someone you’ve delegated it to. Yet, that person continues to downgrade the importance of the task because they feel it is beneath them or not in their job description.

Soon, that team member exhibits subtle signs of gaslighting when you push them about the task, or why it’s not been completed. 

They may act moody, make demands, or even state that they’re looking for positions elsewhere in order for you to remove the task from their plate that they don’t want to do.


What triggers do you think show up for you next as a leader in that situation?

You get angry. Reactionary. Your first instinct is to tell that team member to do as you ask or you’ll find someone else who will.

Even if this is a key employee who you’d be much better off retaining and developing than letting go because they have an amazing skill set that complements your team.

But, deep down, you realize your fear of feeling unprepared is what you’re really battling with. And, in order to retain and develop that team member who has you all in a fit, you have to deal with your own self-critic first. 


That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to be the most effective leader that you can be, you need to recognize and acknowledge your triggers.

Knowing that almost every activity you engage in daily is unconsciously chosen, and the job of the part of your unconscious or subconscious brain is to keep you alive is a big help.

Instead of acting on autopilot and demanding someone bend to your will, the better play is to acknowledge what is being triggered by that person’s behavior.

Invite the gaslighting team member to have a chat. Open up a dialogue to build trust by saying you’d like their input about how you’re doing as a leader. What’s going great. What’s going less than great.

Practice this and you’ll find out what they’re really trying to tell you by their avoidance of the task, or their “holding you hostage” behavior when they act out.   


While it may be a hard-wired behavior that you developed a very long time ago to survive, your need to be liked is an incredible hindrance to leading effectively.

Putting that need in check is how you go from irrational reactionary behavior and gaslighting team members to a more successful work environment.

Doing so is a process. One that starts when you choose to take a deeper dive into the thoughts, beliefs, and experiences keeping you stuck in the unworthy mindset. 
Set up a free strategy session with me and I’ll help you ident