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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Securely Insecure

Over the years, I have had a lot of exposure to high level leaders. Many of them have been very successful. One thing they all had in common is they had vision and the ability to move their organizations forward.

Although this is true, another thing many of them had in common is they are “securely insecure”.

What I mean by that is they are secure in their positions because of the fruit they see. But they are insecure because of the fear someone may see their weaknesses.

Though this is not uncommon, it is rarely admitted even though these people are keenly aware of their insecurity.

You might ask, how is it possible for people who are leading at high levels to be insecure? The answer is simple, they are people.

You see, regardless of where you stand on the hierarchical ladder of your life, there is almost always someone poised to reach beyond your ability. A true irony is this should not make you insecure. In fact, these are moments where someone who is secure in their position can lead beyond their capabilities.

If this is true, why would a high-level leader be fearful of the possibility that someone may be better at what they do than they are?

I think there are a myriad of reasons. They vary from person to person, and like everything in life, the choice to move beyond one’s fears and frailties is ours. The problem is, this is not possible if we are secure in our insecurities.

The moments where true leadership shines the brightest is where the security of realizing my limitations can be augmented by another’s ability.

Many times, the easiest way to see “securely insecure” people in action is when they are constantly reminding everyone around them of their position. In these instances, my question has always been, is this done to remind everyone else of your position or is this just an expression of someone’s insecurity?

I believe it is the latter.

In all fairness, I have asked myself if I am “securely insecure”. To be honest I suppose in some ways I am.

I do believe one of the primary differences I have seen in my own life when I compare it to those I have observed, is I am not afraid of being supplanted or losing my position. My insecurity may be best described as being afraid someone might find out I am not as secure as I appear to be.

Either way, being “securely insecure” is a human condition and one in which most all of us suffer. If this is true, maybe we can be secure enough to admit our insecurity.

James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

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