5 Fears of Experienced Leaders That Can Wreck Their Legacy

Experienced leaders are those who have been in leadership roles for a significant period of time. These experienced leaders have led well throughout their career. Their lives and leadership have impacted many, which is why they have remained in their role.

Experienced leaders are susceptible to the fears leaders of all tenure face. However, because of their tenure, the impact of dwelling on these fears is often magnified, sometimes leading to an unfortunate deterioration of their legacy.

What are a few of those fears, and how do they wreck an experienced leader’s legacy? Here are five fears to consider:

  1. Fear of losing power. They realize that, potentially sooner than later, they must step down from their leadership position and abdicate the power attached to it. When this happens, their words will no longer have authority over the recipients. This can be a fearful thought for experienced leaders as they have grown accustomed to this power.
  2. Fear of losing influence. Leadership is more than a place on the organizational chart. Experienced leaders are often able to influence even beyond their own organization. And rightfully so. But this influence is rarely enduring for any leader. New leaders with new influence enter the scene. Experienced leaders can become fearful as they watch their influence wane.
  3. Fear of losing respect. Experienced leaders tend to gain the respect of others. Their track record makes this respect well-deserved. But as they approach the latter end of their career, they begin to wonder if this respect will persist or die quickly.
  4. Fear of losing identity. Experienced leaders sometimes find a large portion of their identity wrapped up in their leadership role. Experienced leaders can begin to wonder who they will be once they step down from their role. And they can be struck by fear when they are unable to come up with an answer.
  5. Fear of wrecking their legacy. They have watched other experienced leaders wreck their legacy. They witnessed others, in an attempt to hold on to power, influence, respect, and identify do and say things that injure their legacy. And it scares them. They do not want to follow suit. They do not want to be like them.

Many experienced leaders realize that aggressively trying to maintain power, influence, respect, and identity is exactly how you can lose all four. They realize that the great leaders continue to focus on others and their success, even in their latter years. And it is the focus on others, rather than self, that solidifies their legacy as a great leader.

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