Psychologists refer to the impostor syndrome to describe people who feel as if they’re faking it. These individuals lack faith in their abilities and assume they haven’t earned their success—that they’re fooling everyone.
This is a common syndrome for managers. But it’s one thing to feel you’re an impostor and another thing to feel like an apathetic outsider who’s going through the motions. The latter is a bigger problem.
You should at least enjoy your responsibilities, admire some (if not all) of your direct reports and respect your employer’s mission. But if you’re faking it every day—mouthing platitudes and behaving in ways that are inauthentic—then that’s more serious than the impostor syndrome.
It’s also worrisome if you’re growing uncharacteristically angry or anxious at work. You can feel excited or energized by your assignments even while sensing that you’re an impostor. But angry, hardened cynics are often beset by aggrieved thoughts that darken their mood.