Key Leadership Trait #5 – Confidence


“As the leader, by staying calm and confident, you will help keep the team feeling the same.” produced an article recently on the top 10 leadership traits and this blog has been reviewing the list – one a week.  This time we look at the #5 spot – you need to be confident.


As I think about my professional/entrepreneurial career and those ‘few’ dark days of panic, frustration and fear, I will always remember the need to stay confident.  And it sure wasn’t easy. I struggled often to put up a brave face in front of the troops or even my family at times.   But I knew that if I lost my confidence, my ‘people’ would lose their confidence in me.  And that spells trouble.  I got us here.  I can’t lose hope. I have to stay strong and I have to believe in the original ‘plan’.


confidenceConfidence is one of those emotions that we can’t hide.  I am actually not sure if there is a scenario when you would want to hide it but everyone is watching or listening.  They will see the cracks.


Francisco Dao recently 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.


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.  It is that first impression.  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.


Embrace it every day.


Photos provided courtesy of


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1 thought on “Key Leadership Trait #5 – Confidence”

  1. 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.

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