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How to Deal with CEO Imposter Syndrome 


How to Deal with CEO Imposter Syndrome 

Susan Drumm tackles the problem of CEO imposter syndrome and provides valuable tips to help overcome the problem. 

Is there such a thing as CEO Impostor Syndrome? 

When most of us hear Impostor Syndrome we picture 20-somethings who are new to their fields and feeling out of their depth. We might imagine fresh-faced new hires, struggling through client interactions and meetings, worrying that they’ll be “found out.”

What if I told you that 90% of CEOs have had Impostor Syndrome-type thoughts at one time or another? Maybe it was when their company went public, the moment they gave their first town hall speech, or when they acquired a new company. Whatever the situation, there’s a CEO who’s been there and thought, “I’m not sure I belong in this role.”

While I’ve seen it at organizations of all sizes, the Impostor Syndrome is particularly common among younger CEOs and at start-ups — which makes sense! Imagine going from college senior to tech billionaire in just a few years!

CEO Impostor Syndrome may not be constant or all-consuming. It does, however, pop up and occurs often enough to impact leadership, create deep moments of doubt and dramatically reduce executive presence.


 At its core, the CEO is a lonely role. Every other role on the team — the head of marketing, HR, operations — has someone to complain to. Each of those people can come to you, the CEO, to voice their concerns, get feedback and elicit support or praise.

CEOs don’t have that luxury.

When you’re a CEO, your every move is monitored and interpreted. Let’s say you forget to greet someone as you enter the building. It might be because your company is growing so fast that you’re not even sure if this person is an employee, a vendor or a contractor!

Key points include:

  • Create a personal board of directors
  • Support groups
  • Hiring a coach


Read the full article, 3 Surprising Ways to Deal with CEO Impostor Syndrome, on LInkedIn.