The fear of failure is a powerful motivator that drives many leaders to excel. Striving to always be prepared and not to let others down is a reputable quality everyone appreciates. But, sometimes, the fear of failure produces something else — a need in a leader to constantly prove themself. Making sure everyone knows you are capable and competent can ultimately take a toll on a leader’s humility, evenness of temperament and inclusiveness.
The larger issue for those so insecure as to have to prove themselves to others resides in the flawed decisions that arise from such actions. Quality decisions require us to assess objectively all the facts and data, to hear all the arguments and viewpoints. Needing to prove yourself gets in the way of this critical process nearly every time. Show me a leader who has a horrible track record for making good decisions and I’ll likely show you a leader who is trying to prove their value to others all of the time.