In 2014, Forbes.com ranked confidence as the 5th most important attribute of a leader today.
Why? Because confidence, or lack of it, affects everything we do as professionals. Internally, it affects how we approach our work, how we react to external influences and how we handle anything that comes our way. Externally, it affects how people look at us and how they react to what we are doing.
If we lose confidence in ourselves, we jeopardize our chances of success. Lack of confidence breeds more of the same.
But more importantly, lack of confidence sends a signal to all around us and that can be just as dangerous.
Francisco Dao wrote in Inc Magazine, “Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best.”
We need to be confident to make decisions. Confidence allows us to make decisions quickly and decisively. No waffling. No second guessing. The best of us will listen to everyone and everything first and weigh the options. But then we will pull the trigger and make the decision.
Some people out there will respond quickly to all of this and say “What happens if you’re wrong?” Well then, I am wrong. I will admit it and move on. Yes, if I am wrong more often than right, I will lose my position. But for many of us, this is the risk we take as leaders, entrepreneurs or just plain old ‘doers’.
The most confident of us are very willing to be wrong once in a while. Confidence allows us to be wrong because we know we will be right the next time. Move on.
Your confidence builds confidence all around you. If you look and sound confident, everyone around you will step into line and join in your confidence. Your confidence breeds other’s confidence.
When I published on this topic 2014, one of my readers responded “A corollary to having self-confidence is building confidence of your team members. People will do amazing things if they think that you think they can do them. They will support your off the cuff decisions and help bail you out if necessary. Nothing builds your own confidence than having other confident people believe in you. Thank you Barbara Hagen!
Confidence shows in our manners, speech and presence, both physically and even these days, electronically. As I walk into a conference room to give a speech I need to look confident in all ways. That first impression is so important. The whole audience is looking at me before I step on to the podium. I had better look confident.
Today, we have electronic profiles: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and more. Even here we need to look confident. The written profile, the biography, the photos. They all communicate confidence (or lack thereof).
Your customers and suppliers want to see your confidence. So often, their success is in some way tied to your success. You are a part of next quarter’s revenue numbers. Or you are the source of a service that they really need or want. If you are not confident in what you do – you will lose them fast. Many of us will jump early from a sinking ship.
So, for many reasons, a leader of any sort, needs to be confident. You are good at what you do. Your organization is good at what it does. People like you, want to work for you and want to ride your success.
How confident are you?