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Are You a Confident Leader?
Mountain Air

Yes, I Can! No, I Can’t!

One of the most important attributes associated with strong leadership is self-confidence. Self-confidence reveals itself in many ways—assertiveness, decisiveness, trustworthiness, credibility, competence, accountability, and a willingness to admit mistakes and grow from them. 

Confident Leaders Are Self-Aware

Self-awareness means that you understand your strengths and weaknesses, accept them as parts of who you are, and work to improve both. 

  • List all the skills you have and are good at. 
  • Enhance your skills in areas where you are strong and strengthen areas where you are weak.
  • Ask your manager to help you become a better leader and be willing to take action on what he or she recommends. 
  • Find out what resources your company provides and show initiative by taking advantage of training opportunities.
  • Be willing to accept and volunteer for new challenges that help you stretch and grow. 

Confident Leaders Focus on Successes and Learn from Mistakes

It’s human nature to focus on what we do wrong and gloss over accomplishments. The key to becoming more confident is to reverse that approach and start celebrating your successes. 

Keep a journal or other written record of your wins and periodically review them to boost your self-confidence. If you make a mistake, capture that also, but add what you learned and what you will do differently in the future. Refer to your journal when your self-confidence needs a boost. 

Confident Leaders Are Smart Risk Takers

Leaders must know how to evaluate and take risks in order to achieve organizational goals. Despite this, some people are reluctant to commit to a course of action unless certain of the outcome. Since we can never be 100% sure of anything, smart risk taking means assessing possible dangers and identifying ways to eliminate or mitigate them. 

Look at alternative options, define the worst-case scenario, and determine the likelihood of it happening. Often, you will discover that the worst case is the least likely one to occur! Create Plans B and C as fallback positions and evaluate which options produce the greatest benefit with the least risk. Then make a decision and take action.

Confident Leaders Take Action

Perfectionism and confidence are two opposing forces, and the first can crush the second. When performance standards are set so high that they can’t be met, the ability to feel and act confidently is doomed. Perfectionists often criticize every attempt they make to succeed, attacking the very self-esteem they need to be able to succeed! In addition, perfectionism often leads to procrastination because people know that no matter how hard they try, they will fall short, so they don’t even start. 

If you tend toward perfectionism, lighten up. Don’t criticize yourself or use negative self-talk. Instead, be more forgiving of yourself, set realistic expectations and performance standards, and remember, few things are 100% perfect! As German physicist Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”

Self-confidence means appreciating and accepting who you are and being honest about it with others. When you are comfortable with yourself and confident in your abilities, your leadership shines! 

If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.

Henry Ford, American industrialist