Okay, maybe confidence is not the power to move the WHOLE universe, but it’s definitely a key to organizational and leadership excellence. In my coaching career, I’ve seen some leaders who are genuinely arrogant or over-confident, but I’ve found that most leaders want, and need, more confidence. Organizations led by confident leaders at all levels are generally higher performing; they’re great places to work.
How? Let me count some of the ways!
Confident leaders are not threatened when they see other highly talented people around them; “A” players hire “A” players. Confident leaders are not afraid to take appropriate risks—they’re more entrepreneurial and more innovative. They encourage those around them to try new things knowing that most can’t be perfect the first time out. They’re confident in the learning process. This kind of culture acts as an accelerator for creating a learning organization.
What does a confident leader look like?
My experience of the most successful leaders is that they are “calm, confident, clear and connected.” This a “mantra” I have used for the last 20 years and have shared with many of the executives that I coach. Each word is an anchor to remind me to make some conscious decisions—to think more effectively. I find that the mantra works best when I apply it in that specific order:
Calm. Take some deep breaths and slow down. Calm body and mind. The mind works best when anxiety is not too high or too low (too low is a rarer issue).
Confident. Think of times when you’ve been highly successful. When you were in a state of “flow.” When you and others felt really good about you and your impact on them. What you envision in your mind will cause an immediate physiological reaction; picture success and you will feel successful and act in ways that continue successful outcomes.
Clear. Now you’re calm and more confident. What to do with that confidence? Focus on what is important to say, to do… to achieve. What you envision is what you will move towards—like an archer focusing on the bull’s-eye.
Connected. Leaders in a calm, confident, clear state can profoundly shift their attention to the people around them. With managed anxiety and high confidence, a leader has “room” for others and can effectively connect and influence–and be open to being influenced by–others. True connection, collaboration and leadership are possible.
Maybe confidence does have real power in the universe. Let’s ensure we establish some solid confidence and make some positive impact on the world around us.