One of the most important characteristics of strong leaders is their confidence in themselves. If you find a leader who is not confident in their ability as a leader, you will find a team or organization that is less than fully engaged. We are positively influenced by confident people.
Developing Your Confidence Day-by-Day
Just like every aspect of personal growth and leadership development, confidence in yourself and your abilities is not built in a day, but day-by-day. I have seen leaders who put on a confident appearance only to have it unravel when they faced an unexpected turn in events. The following are five ideas to help you increase your level of true confidence.
1. Look outward, not inward.
You will feel the least confident when you look at yourself and wonder if everyone thinks you are a good leader. These questions are often ones like “Do I look like a leader? Do I sound like a leader?” When you accept that it is not about you and begin to look outward at the people you are leading, your confidence will start to grow. When you make others the focus of your attention and how you can help them grow and succeed, you will stop focusing on yourself and what others think.
2. Develop your self-concept (self-image, self-esteem, self-belief)
John C. Maxwell says you can’t really connect with others until you connect with yourself. This means if you don’t like and believe in yourself, you will have difficulty liking and connecting with others. How do you see yourself? How do you talk to yourself? Do you see yourself as a leader?
3. Establish a daily routine for personal growth and development.
You cannot give what you do not have. If you are not developing yourself as a leader, you will find yourself in situations where you are at a loss for how to move forward. When you invest time daily in growing yourself, you expand your thinking and your point of view. Even if you face something challenging where your confidence may wane, it won’t because you are allowing yourself to be teachable. The more you grow, the more confident you become.
4. Invest in a coach or a mentor.
You are not the only person to struggle with confidence as a leader. Working with a coach or mentor is helpful to seeing the bigger picture and discovering things you can do to improve your confidence.
5. Develop your self-awareness.
Self-aware leaders naturally exhibit more confidence. Why? Because they stop trying to make people think they are something they are not. When you are more self-aware, you become more humble, more teachable, more approachable. You exhibit vulnerability, which develops trust with others.
Look at the people you follow. Do any of them model confidence? What can you learn from them? Spend time each day reflecting on the progress you are making. Ask yourself what you could do differently tomorrow to increase your confidence in yourself and in the team you lead. It’s easy to focus only on today and how you feel today; but, reflecting on the journey and how far you have come can be very helpful in building confidence that you really do have what it takes.
Looking for more ways to develop as a leader or develop the leaders in your organization?
At Maxwell Leadership, we believe leadership shouldn’t be a solo mission. Great leaders work among their people, not above their people. We can help you build a team of strong leaders around you, creating better performance for the whole organization. Learn more about our solutions, including executive coaching and leadership development programs and assessments tailored to your organization’s needs.
About Perry Holley
Perry Holley is a coach and facilitator with Maxwell Leadership, as well as a published author. He has a passion for developing others and seeing people grow into the leaders they were intended to become.