Stepping into a leadership role is not always straightforward, and often comes with a significant increase in responsibility – to the business and the people employed by it. It is therefore unsurprising that your people who may be about to step into these roles, or have done so recently, might have a number of fears about what that new role holds.

Finding the right people to join the leadership team is vital to ensure that continued growth is achievable. However, without the right talent, this can be difficult. Towards the end of last year, a study cited by Forbes highlighted that only 14% of CEOs say they have the talent they need to execute their business strategies.

It is often the case that business leaders who have recently transitioned to a top-level position find that despite their best efforts and continued motivation, they struggle with their new responsibilities. Furthermore, sometimes a highly qualified candidate, new hire or promoted staff member, despite appearing to have all the potential and skills in the world, may actually be unsure of their capabilities to be an effective business leader.

To ensure that the step up into leadership is effective, we’ve looked at some of the common fears and considerations felt by employees before and during the transition into leadership. We recommend that every business put measures in place to identify and develop their future leaders at an early stage to mitigate these fears and considerations.

Fears new leaders may encounter when stepping up

Everyone has fears that can sometimes stop them from achieving their goals or fulfilling their responsibilities. However, this shouldn’t be an excuse to let those fears get the better of them during the progression into leadership.

Here are three of the most common fears that leaders should be looking out for:

The fear of failure

When you fail in a leadership role, you get everyone’s attention. Failure is something that we all fear, but that should not mean that failure is fatal to your leadership – you should always consider failure as a mandatory part of success. As Henry Ford expertly put it; “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.”

The fear of having to make difficult decisions

As a newly appointed leader you can be called upon to make difficult decisions. Sometimes people worry about this scenario and fear that they may not be able to make the right decision and maybe even worry about the repercussions of their decisions. However, it is incredibly important that leaders don’t become stuck in “paralysis of analysis”- thinking too much about something because of indecision.

Instead, leaders should try to make the best decision based on where they want to go, not where they currently are, and then proceed by moving on to tackle any further obstacles or decisions that come their way.

The fear of being criticised

When beginning to move up within an organisation, you’re going to notice an increasing amount of criticism towards you, your work and your actions as well as towards others around you. Criticism is a mandatory part of the territory in leadership.

You shouldn’t let criticism bother you – in fact if you’re not hearing criticism, you’re most likely playing it too safe.

Don’t fear criticism but take it in your stride. Always attempt to be your own best self and meet your own personal standards of excellence.

Things new leaders should consider when transitioning into a leadership role

People that are being promoted, or about to transition into a leadership role, are likely doing so because their managers/ leaders have recognised their reputation of being motivated, results oriented and willing to do everything necessary to ensure that they and the business meet their goals.

Here are three things new leaders should consider to ensure continued success:

Understand the difference between management and leadership

Put simply, leaders create a vision, managers create goals. Leaders paint a picture of what they see as possible and inspire and engage their people in turning that vision into a reality. A manager, on the other hand, is more likely to look at the possibility of an objective and align goals to these.

Delegate effectively

Delegation seems like an obvious thing that you should be able to do as a leader but to make delegation work for everyone requires some careful thought. Make sure that work is delegated to the most effective people with awareness for the strengths and weaknesses of the team.

Understand how to promote an ethical culture within the organisation

Leaders should consider how they are going to strive to maintain integrity, show respect and treat others as you would wish to be treated. Adding value to other people, showing respect, giving appreciation, putting your trust in others, and openly sharing your agenda are the very foundations of ethics.

When acclimatising to a leadership role it is vitally important to consider fears of the role, the responsibilities that will be taken on, and understand how they can be overcome without allowing them to cloud judgement or negatively affect performance.

It is equally important to think about how you can be an effective leader. Consider what key skills you will require to progress in your career whilst ensuring that the others that you’re responsible for leading can also benefit from your knowledge and understanding of things.

To find out more about how we have successfully delivered leadership focused learning & development solutions for the world’s most successful companies call: (0)1279 652255 in the UK or +001 801 326 1985 in the USA. Alternatively, you can find out more about OnTrack International by contacting us by visiting our website: