How to Manage Imposter Syndrome In Current and Emerging Leaders

Own Your Greatness author, TEDTalk presenter, LinkedIn Top Voice, and NYC top career coaches Lisa and Richard Orbe-Austin show current and emerging leaders how to embrace their strengths and lead with confidence.

Is Self-Doubt Reducing the Effectiveness of Your Leaders and the Teams They Manage?

Your organization is committed to hiring and training the best leaders in the industry. But despite their extensive experience and an impressive list of accomplishments in and out of the workplace, many of your leaders and emerging talent continue to doubt themselves and their abilities.

There’s a common myth that Imposter Syndrome goes away when an individual advances in their career. But the problem can actually get a lot worse as high-performing team members take on new responsibilities, greater risks, and new peer groups. In fact, a 2020 study from KPMG revealed that 75% of female executives have experienced Imposter Syndrome.

You want your current and emerging leaders to develop a set of healthy behaviors and competencies; to know that they aren’t frauds and that the company believes in them. But how can you help your leaders tackle self-doubt when it remains, in spite of all they have already accomplished in their careers?

Learning how to help someone with Imposter Syndrome starts with understanding how it builds in emerging leaders (and why career success often fails to develop into self-confidence).

Lisa and Richard

Lisa & Richard

“It is always a pleasure for me to work with Dr. Orbé-Austin! She gave one of the most popular keynote addresses at the 2021 Harvard Medical School Coaching Conference, sponsored by the Institute of Coaching, which is one of the world’s largest coaching conferences. Other events we have partnered with her on — our IOC book club and LinkedIn Live —  have been very successful.  She is an expert on Impostor Syndrome and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any organization interested in a research-based approach to this important topic!”

Jeffrey W. Hull, Ph.D. , CEO, Leadershift, Inc.
Director of Global Development, Institute of Coaching
Clinical Instructor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Detect The Signs of Imposter Syndrome in Leaders

Imposter Syndrome affects 70 percent of adults in the U.S., and even the most experienced leaders aren’t immune. When self-doubt begins interfering with your leadership team’s ability to communicate, delegate, and model healthy work behaviors, the impact to your company can be extensive.

  • It reduces productivity and increases burnout as leaders have a hard time making decisions, and have difficulty  delegating even simple tasks.
  • It impedes future leadership as current executives micromanage, instead of delegating and helping direct reports learn how to do the work on their own.
  • It increases turnover among up and coming team members when mistakes are seen as a reflection of their competency rather than as a growth opportunity.
  • It diminishes team visibility and confidence when leaders struggle to leverage critical moments and communicate their value.
  • It leads to risk-aversion and an inability to prioritize strategic-level tasks, resulting in costly delays and missed opportunities.
  • It increases skill gaps among senior leadership, management, and other key team members.
  • It reduces collaboration and increases conflict among executives, managers, and the people they influence.
  • It impacts company culture as leaders and their teams feel devalued.

What happens to a team when its leaders are free from Imposter Syndrome?

Understanding Imposter Syndrome triggers – what they look like and how they affect leaders and staff – can help you mitigate its impact on your team.

  • Improve overall wellbeing by modeling healthy work-life balance and celebrating individual wins.
  • Develop new leaders by fostering greater confidence and teaching new skills among direct reports.
  • Increase productivity and collaboration in situations where leaders and employees used to feel isolated or threatened.
  • Capitalize on new opportunities – individually and for the company – by accepting risks and viewing setbacks as learning opportunities instead of shortcomings.

When you give your leaders the practical skills they need to recognize and overcome Imposter Syndrome, you can see them embrace their strengths, own their accomplishments, and develop a more open stance around failure, growth, creativity, and risk-taking. You’re helping executives and managers feel comfortable in their own skin, contributing to their long-term success (and that of your company).


“Lisa is a dynamic and compassionate educator and coach. Her workshops on Imposter Phenomenon have been pivotal for staff, especially people of color and LGBTQ leaders, who so often feel unseen in the workplace. Her work has normalized the experience of imposter syndrome and provided emerging leaders with the practical tools to honor themselves and to ask for more.”

Ashleigh Washington, MSW, Senior Director of Learning & Staff Development
Safe Horizons

Finding the Right Approach for How to Manage Imposter Syndrome Among Leaders

You know that building a thriving team starts with confident leaders who are able to clearly articulate what they want for themselves and their direct reports. And you are committed to providing ongoing support to help your staff overcome personal and professional challenges.

Maybe you have offered training courses or brought in professional speakers for an Imposter Syndrome workshop. Or you might have hosted team building retreats and invited managers to sit down with senior leadership. But despite your unwavering support and ongoing investment, your team leaders continue to show signs of self-doubt that are affecting the company culture you envision (and the bottom line you need to keep growing).

Without someone who can teach the practical skills your leaders need to recognize and overcome Imposter Syndrome in the workplace, you might begin to doubt your organization – and your valued team members – will ever reach their full potential.

Imposter Syndrome Workshops
“I have had the honor of working with Dr. Lisa Orbe-Austin and Dr. Rich Orbe-Austin for five years, where they have coached and delivered workshops for BIPOC graduate students at New York University. Every year, they deliver research-backed, equity-informed programming on how students can own their greatness and find the career of their dreams.  Their facilitation style is empathetic, energetic, and warm, and students always walk away from their interactions with Lisa and Rich feeling validated and inspired. Their impact is also long-term – years after graduating, alumni still speak about how powerful it was to work with them, and how Lisa and Rich’s advice continues to guide them through their careers. They are an incomparable asset to any program, organization, or individual that is looking to find meaning and purpose in their lives.”
Sasha Massey , Associate Director, Social Impact Leadership Programs
New York University

Imposter Syndrome Workshops with Drs. Lisa and Richard Orbé-Austin

Lisa and Richard’s research-based model goes beyond recognizing Imposter Syndrome triggers to actively teaching leaders through Imposter Syndrome workshops the concrete skills they need to build their confidence and own their greatness.

Their three C’s for overcoming Imposter Syndrome at work were developed using extensive personal and professional experience. And they don’t just teach others how to manage Imposter Syndrome in the workplace – they’ve done it themselves! Authors of Own Your Greatness: Overcome Imposter Syndrome, Beat Self Doubt and Succeed in Life, a Foreword INDIES Book Award Finalist, they since developed their program into a series of workshops and a Masterclass that helped reduce Imposter Syndrome in leaders by 30% in just 14 weeks.

Invite Lisa & Richard to speak at your organization and give your leadership team the help they need to:

  • Clarify the signs of Imposter Syndrome and where their self-doubt comes from.
  • Choose behaviors that disrupt the cycle of Imposter Syndrome.
  • Create opportunities to build community and develop new ways of interacting that help change their experience with Imposter Syndrome.

Check Availability & Schedule Your Workshop

Check Out Drs. Lisa and Richard’s Other Speaking Engagements & Workshops

How to Effectively Reduce Stress to Increase Productivity & Job Satisfaction | Leading Through a Prolonged Crisis | Leading Through Change | How to Engage in Difficult Conversations about Race | Disrupting Unconscious Bias in the Workplace | Deepening Cultural Competence & Sensitivity

Featured In
Dynamic Transitions LLP on Business Insider
Refinery 29
New York Times
Dynamic Transitions in Huffpost

Book Your Speaking Engagement or Workshop

Are you ready to build a positive, supportive company culture to help your executives, managers, and up-and-coming leaders thrive?

  1. Reserve an Imposter Syndrome workshop with Drs. Lisa and Richard Orbé-Austin.  Start with an introduction to Imposter Syndrome, request a speaking engagement to work through Own Your Greatness: Overcome Impostor Syndrome, Beat Self-Doubt, and Succeed in Life, or schedule a customized 4-session workshop or 14-session MasterClass.
  2. Plan the event. Lisa and Richard will schedule an exploratory call to discuss your needs and personalize their approach. Get ready to enjoy the stories, research-based strategies, and concrete steps that helped them become New York City’s top Imposter Syndrome speakers and coaches.
  3. Own Your Greatness. Watch as Drs. Richard and Lisa Orbé-Austin show your executives how to recognize, manage, and overcome Imposter Syndrome at work. They’ll help your leadership team embrace their skills and grow their confidence. And you’ll get the credit for giving your employees the guidance and practical steps they need to thrive in and out of the workplace.

Find More Ways to Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Introduction to Imposter Syndrome (and How to Intervene) | Own Your Greatness Book Club | Customized Workshops | 14-Session Customized MasterClass

Organizations We’ve Worked For

Harvard Medical School
New York University
Harvard Graduate School of Education
4 A's Foundation
Yale University
Hispanic National Bar Association
University of California Riverside
Army Research Lab
Safe Horizon
Baruch College
College of the Holy Cross
Mayors Innovation Project
LEDA Career Network
Boston University
National Domestic Worker's Alliance
Prospect Park Alliance
Psychiatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians
University of Kentucky College of Medicine