3 traits to eliminate to thrive as a leader in your workplace

Nothing sidelines a thriving leadership project like the fear of failure, the need for too much control or striving for perfectionism.

These three traits; fear, control, perfectionism - they are the opposite of what we encourage and cultivate in personal coaching or mentorship. There is a lot to be learned from the behavioural habits that emerge when you experience these three traits, and if you have these traits in your personality, congratulations! You are very normal. Many high performing professionals do. Now however is the time that you can discover how to work with them positively.

Fear of Failure

A fear of failure is very real and it can often be the reason some leaders won’t be creative and get started on something innovative.

But the truth is failure is a part of learning and growing and we can better navigate our failures by seeing the whole picture.

By this I mean not focusing exclusively on outcomes but rather ‘learning processors’, sharing your failures, seeking feedback and being mindfully aware that the development of knowledge that leads to good character and positive relationships is by far more valuable than a solution in and of itself.


Control is something we all want to feel intrinsically. It's a sense of power over our situation and one that hopes to minimise our exposure to risk. But recognising that when you’re leading a team the more invested the team is in the process the greater their contribution will be. In this way you have to be willing to surrender some control to empower your team to rise up to meet your team goals.


While many leaders might be proud of it, perfectionism is actually a real hindrance to effective leadership.

Sure attention to detail is fantastic but the type of perfectionism that comes from insecurity can drive the need to be always right and lead to blind spots.

Science is no doubt messy and takes a lot of trial and errors to find solutions. Practising self-compassion and compassion toward others can help leaders model the embracing of our imperfections, slow down the need for right answers and outcomes and allow us to praise the willingness to ‘wrestle’ with the process instead.

Thriving in leadership can be complex and requires us to simultaneously develop ourselves while empowering others to develop themselves. By facing our fear of failure, need for control and strive for perfectionism we can begin to build a more positive relationship with ourselves that will enable ourselves and others to thrive naturally.


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Marion Miller is a certified Life Coach and an evidenced based Mindfulness Teacher. She's passionate about wellbeing and leadership and inspiring her clients full potential. Marion mentors professionals and students helping them develop wellbeing, performance and leadership. Sessions involve mindfulness practises, inquiry, positive psychology and coaching tools and strategies. Marion helps clients discover and develop personal strengths, build resiliency and empowers them to lead life authentically. Marion holds a Life Coaching Diploma and has had training in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). 

Marion is the founder of Melbourne Coach and works in private practice in Hawthorn, Melbourne and online.