Stop with “fake it till you make it”!

I’m sure you’ve been given that advice at some point. “Fake it till you make it!”White chalk on black background reading "SCAM ALERT"

I actually had a therapist tell me that many years ago. Oof.

It’s the worst possible advice.

Because here’s the thing: “fake it till you make it” is a sure-fire, guaran-damn-teed way to land yourself in the middle of imposter syndrome, unconfidence, insecurity, and feeling like you have to have All The Answers even if you don’t think you have Any Answers At All. As the image here suggests, it’s a scam, and you’re perpetrating it.


As long as you’re busy “faking it,” you can’t learn and grow, because you’re busy pretending that you don’t need to.

But we all have more learning and growing to do. Always, whether we like it or not, and whether we want to admit it or not.

And as a leader and manager, you’ll gain respect from your people and your leadership when you acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers.

Having said that, I’ll add an important caution: there are some company cultures and some bosses who don’t accept not-knowing. There are some organizations where asking questions is frowned upon. If that’s your situation, I’ll just say – bluntly – that you probably should take a look around and make sure it’s where you really want to be, and think about moving on.

Meanwhile, if you’ve recently been promoted from individual team member into that management and leadership role, please know that this feeling of uncertainty is both real and valid, as I wrote about recently.

And if you’re a leader of leaders, or you’ve recently promoted one of your people into that management / leadership role, please do the right thing and get them the training and support they need to excel.

It’s no fault of the fledgling leader that they’re struggling; the skillset for management and leadership is vastly different from the skillset they’ve always succeeded with as an individual.

Let’s be real about it: it’s the fault of their leadership for not providing the support they need.

Leadership matters and leadership development is the only sure way to know your leaders are gaining the skills they need to succeed.

Let’s talk about how you can support your fledgling leaders and managers. Schedule here!