5 Challenges That Keep New Leaders Awake At Night

5 challenges

Establishing your identity and presence as a new leader at any level in the organisational hierarchy can be a challenge.

Here are 5 common questions that I’m asked.

Help – how do I stop feeling like an imposter?

This is a large part of my work with senior leaders. Research shows that at any one time, 70% of us will feel like we shouldn’t be in the role we’re in and will be waiting for that tap on the shoulder that tells us we’ve been rumbled. The Imposter Syndrome refers to feelings of being a fake and a fraud, that we don’t deserve our success and we’ll never replicate it. It’s career-limiting stuff and especially potent in the early days of a new role when it will take the wind out of your sails. I wrote this post 3 Ways to Manage Your Imposter Syndrome which will help you if IS is stopping you from applying for roles too.


Help – I feel totally out of my depth with my new colleagues. How do I stop feeling like this?

Finding yourself sitting at the board table with colleagues you’ve interacted with briefly in your last post can be daunting. You’ve taken a step up in your career, into a new world and it can feel uncomfortable. Maybe you’re telling yourself all kinds of stories about your new peers – probably most of them unhelpful. If you’re feeling daunted by the prospect of fitting in at a new, more senior level, then this post I wrote, Feeling Out of depth with Your New Colleagues? will help you to change your mindset.


Help – I don’t think my new team like me! What can I do?

Connecting with your new team quickly, and building relationships with them will be high on your list of things to do in the first 100 days. Getting to know anyone can be a challenge, and here is a guest post I wrote, with 7 Ways to Build Business Rapport that will enable you to create the culture of your team from the outset. A useful reminder for anyone who’s been leading their team for some time too!


Help – I don’t know how to create impact in my new role! What can I try?

In your new role, you’ll want to create as much impact as possible in the shortest possible time to demonstrate your effectiveness and leadership qualities. The key to this is understanding how to create influence. In this post, How to Speak so They’ll Listen, I outline four ways to engage others in productive conversations – helpful for leading your team, as well as influencing up.


Help – I’m not sure who I am as a leader! How do I get used to this new ‘me’?

New roles demand new things of you – qualities that you may still need to develop, behaviours that may initially feel uncomfortable and alien to you and a new way of ‘being’ that your team and your bosses will be expecting to see. This can be confusing and quite daunting. Understanding how to be an authentic leader and still be able to change and respond to your new role is a crucial piece of learning. None of us are set in stone – we’re not the same people we were when we joined the workforce – however many years ago that may be. This article, The Key to Being an Authentic Leader, will help you to mkae sense of seemingly conflicting demands on you as a leader.

Have you got your own burning question? Feel free to email me at hello@susanritchie.co.uk

one_to_one_coachingI’m Susan Ritchie, an author, leadership and executive coach and trainer. My second book, Strategies for Being Visible: 14 Profile-Raising Ideas for Emerging Female Leaders is now available as a paperback, an audiobook and for the Kindle reader.