How to build your confidence to be a great leader

How to build your confidence to be a great leader

27/11/2018 09:00:00 by Bev James

Self-confidence is the fundamental skill from which truly great leadership is built. It fosters a belief in your abilities and creates the best mindset to inspire, manage and motivate. Leadership that comes from confidence builds more successful CEOs and managers, ultimately creating a more cohesive and productive work environment for everyone.

Confident leaders are more successful, but what exactly is a confident leadership style? Well, popular culture might have us believe that it is the suit-clad, straight-talking tyrant. Many of us may have even worked for someone who embodies this leadership style. However, tyrannical management rarely comes from a place of confidence, nor does it build a strong, thriving team. Instead, 


Why confident leaders are more successful:  


Being confident means knowing when to say you don’t have the answer and put your hands up when you’ve made a mistake. Confident leaders have no need for blame, they own their decisions and their mistakes. These qualities allow them to easily gain and maintain the respect of their colleagues and team. Furthermore, confident leaders give recognition where it is due and are open to suggestions. They are aware of the value in their team and nature, support and acknowledge it accordingly. 


Overall, working with a leader whose management style is rooted in confidence is inspiring and authentic. In turn, this fosters trust within the team and creates a healthier workplace environment. 

Every great leader understands this, as such, they invest time and energy into building and maintaining their self-confidence until it becomes an unshakable superpower.


So, what can you do to build your confidence and become a great leader? 


1. Have a healthy decision-making habit 


When you are in a management or leadership role you will need to make decisions daily. As such, you must develop a healthy decision-making habit and understand that the perfect time, choice and answer do not exist. Mistakes are part of the process and that’s okay. To develop a healthy decision-making habit you must firstly, gather the information available to you and touch base with your daily priorities. This is important as it will enable you to make decisions that align with your company’s overall objectives. 


Next, weigh up the benefits of the options available to you and then, use your best judgement to move forward. Of course, you will sometimes make mistakes, however, great leaders accept that these are simply lessons for their personal and professional growth. They remain flexible and understand that there is usually more than one right way to do something. By developing a healthy decision-making habit you will feel more self-assured in your abilities and your self-confidence will grow. 



2. Get comfortable in your stretch zone 


Great leaders are comfortable feeling uncomfortable and they understand that their future success lies just outside their comfort zone – in the stretch zone. This zone is where planning, self-awareness and calculated risks happen. It doesn’t always feel comfortable, however, as a leader, it is necessary to spend time here in order to build your skills and strengthen your confidence. 


By edging your way out of your comfort zone and into your stretch zone you will learn how to take decisive action, strengthen your resilience and to push yourself. This is where the magic happens, and where confidence is built, so great leaders need to learn to get comfortable feeling a little uncomfortable. 



3. Invest in a coach 


Have you ever heard people say it can be lonely at the top? For many, this is the reality of leadership and nothing zaps a person’s confidence faster than feeling isolated and under pressure. When you invest in a coach, you are actually investing in a valuable resource and a sounding board. You will face up to any limiting beliefs and learn how to grow your confidence, align your values and ultimately, achieve goals. Both life and business coaches are fantastic are invaluable assets for leaders and offer them the support to be truly successful.  



4. Give yourself the credit you deserve 


Lastly, all confident leaders must learn to give yourself the credit you deserve. They should acknowledge the way they have grown, how they have successfully handled their role and even how they have positively affected others. It is important to acknowledge your achievements as it will strengthen your self-belief and affirm your abilities. 


Self-confidence is not a super-power that requires action and with the continual effort, it will become a part of who you are. By truly believing in your skills and your worth, you will not only excel as a leader, but you will also inspire others to do the same.


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