Do you ever have those Sunday Scaries right before you go to bed? You know what I’m talking about: that little voice in your head that tells you that you’re not enough, you’re not a leader, you were just lucky. That is self-doubt, the biggest foe of your journey to improving your self-confidence as a leader.
When you’re in a managerial position, you take up a lot more workload than simple “project management”. You’re the role model for your team, someone they look up to when things get difficult to lead them in the right direction. Yet, the confidence you’ll need to take up that role is the most challenging feat of them all.
Don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many leaders struggle with self-confidence in their work and personal life. Thankfully, self-assurance is a skill and, thus, can be improved like all the other skills you’ve attained over the years of work. So, today, we’ll take a look at a few of the ways you can be a confident leader.
Understanding Self-Confidence In Leadership
For many, self-confidence seems like this innate ability to appreciate and trust oneself. While that’s partially true, leading with confidence is a whole different beast to tame if you don’t have the right mindset to approach it.
You see, confidence is all about saying, “I’m enough”. It’s about remembering all the achievements you’ve obtained to get to the position you are in, be that in your personal or professional life.
But, going back to our topic, confidence and leadership go hand in hand – for no leader will be fully trusted by their team if they don’t trust themselves first. Plus, all the other perks of self-confidence, like taking responsibility for your actions (and taking actions as a whole), are what leading is all about.
Why You Should Build Confidence as a Leader
A confident leader is a trustworthy and reliable one. Think of this simple example. When you lack the required confidence to lead, you’ll often put yourself down when you make a mistake. A leader who’s oozing with self-confidence, though, will embrace such mistakes and encourage their team to do the same.
Or, for instance, to be a confident leader, you’ll need to be an active listener, as we’ll see below. Most folks who lack self-confidence will often take the reins of a conversation and end up not adding much value to it.
But, as we mentioned above, confidence is something you can build and improve upon. Some people just have a predisposition to confidence due to their character traits, be that introversion, assertiveness, etc. Others learn how to effectively build these, as we’ll see below right now!
Learn the Basics – 5 Habits To Build Confidence as a Leader
Every confident leader needs to have a set of habits to back up their confidence. These will be the backbone of your journey, so don’t skip out on any of them.
Continuous development, whether that be on a personal or professional level, is the key to building confidence as a leader. You see, once you reach a high enough place on the corporate ladder or you build your own successful company, chances are that you’d want to remain there. Stagnant. After all, you’ve spent the past decade developing your skills, so you need a much-needed break.
But that’s not really ideal. By investing time in personal development and constantly improving yourself, you gain a lot of respect for yourself. This, in turn, comes out as a form of strong confidence.
Besides developing your craft and your personality, you’ll need to dedicate some time to caring for yourself. You know, self-care isn’t only about going to spas and paying for overpriced massages. It’s about the little things.
Meditation, mindfulness, sleep, exercise… pick your poison. Or, actually, pick all of them, as they’re all equally important parts of self-care that’ll help you ensure your well-being, both physically and mentally.
Once you’ve got the first two good habits under your belt, it’s time to reflect and find the ones that are setting you back. These can be actions at work that are affecting you, which you can replace with some good work habits. Or, it can be something even more complex, like a potential career change.
No matter the issue, self-reflection is there to help you out. And, once you get rid of the things that are setting you back, you’ll slowly notice your self-confidence creeping up, whether that be in your upcoming public speech or your next meeting with the team.
Every confident leader has a morning routine. Successful entrepreneurs, managers, and executives; they all do some things once they’re out of bed to start the day with a bang. This is very subjective, and your routine might be completely different from that of Bob’s from HR.
That said, every morning routine should have some actions that fulfill you. This could be journaling for some, while others might prefer going for a brisk walk in nature right before work. Our clients specifically highlight that their morning routine is there to help them keep a work-life balance, so even something as simple as reading a book for 10 minutes is a great start.
This one’s the most difficult one for managers and executives alike. Learning to let go is one of the last hurdles before you can safely say you’ve become a confident leader. It’s this skill that allows you to let go of the things that you can’t control and take responsibility for the ones that you can control.
Think of this. Maybe your latest project didn’t work out as expected because the client had some extremely unreasonable expectations. There’s nothing you could have done about that. So, leave that ordeal in the past and move on, knowing very well that you did what you could.
Practicality Comes First – 5 Ways To Be Confident At Work
Then again, only employing the basics won’t get you far in the workplace. They’ll help you immensely in your personal life, but if you don’t take actionable steps at work, you won’t be able to reach your desired level of confidence.
Being open to feedback is one thing. Embracing feedback is a whole different game that few managers like to play. But, if you truly want to lead your team with confidence, you’ve got to promote feedback sharing.
It doesn’t have to be something complex. When you have 1-on-1s with your team members, spend some time exchanging comments with each other. And don’t just write it off as just some random feedback. If John tells you that you’ve not been helping the team enough, it’s time to fix that.
Eat The Frog
Eating the frog is a big one. Kind of like the frog itself. This phrase basically entails getting the hardest tasks done early in the day so that you don’t have to worry about them later on. But, you might say, “Alex, how the hell does that help me with being more confident?”.
Well, it’s all a matter of having the right mindset. By getting the most demanding tasks done before lunchtime, you won’t really have a day where you get off your desk and think, “I didn’t do enough today”. It’s a daily challenge you’ll have to overcome, and a confidence builder at that. Very few folks would actually want to eat that giant ugly frog!
Network With Leaders
Okay, back to some more set-in-stone methods. To be a confident leader, you have to be around confident leaders. It isn’t really a prerequisite, but it’s more of a cheat code to absorb the confidence of those around you.
It’s simple, really. A network of confident leaders works like a team of mentors in leadership confidence. Think of it as confidence building programs, but with with folks that you get to talk to every day, who understand your troubles and are there to help you out.
You know, leadership isn’t about always playing it safe and sticking to what you know. It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, taking risks, and being okay with not knowing what’s going to happen next.
It’s like you’re Indiana Jones, venturing into unknown territories in search of treasures. You might face obstacles, but you also might discover something amazing. Either way, you come back a little wiser and a lot more confident.
Being a great listener is like having a superpower in leadership. It’s not just about nodding your head and saying, “uh-huh.” It’s about truly hearing what your team has to say, understanding their point of view, and showing them that their opinions are valued.
It’s like being a detective, picking up on clues that can help you make better decisions and build a stronger team. Plus, it’s one of the must-have communication skills of any manager!
Lead With Confidence – 5 Characteristics of Every Confident Leader
Just as a sculptor carefully chisels away to create a masterpiece, a confident leader must also sculpt and refine their attributes to truly embody executive presence. Because let me tell you. You might have your habits in place, but if you don’t actually elevate your personality from them, your work goes down the drain.
Self-awareness is the cornerstone of confident leadership. It’s about knowing your strengths and being open to working on your weaknesses. It’s about taking a good, hard look in the mirror and saying, “Eh, this is me”. This kind of introspection is not just liberating; it’s a major confidence booster and builds stronger relationships with your team.
Emotional intelligence is like having a sixth sense in leadership. It’s about being in tune with your emotions and the emotions of those around you. It’s like being a maestro, harmonizing the different personalities in your team to create a beautiful symphony.
It’s this kind of empathy and understanding that’ll help you build a strong, united team. Think of it as the secret sauce (but if anyone asks, you didn’t hear it from me!).
Commitment is the fuel that keeps the leadership engine running. Or, rather, roaring! It’s about being all in, giving 110%, and not resting until you’ve reached your goals. It’s about rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands dirty, and showing your team that you’re not just a talker but a doer.
This kind of dedication is contagious and creates a positive, can-do culture. But remember that balance is key. Overworking as a way to show your confidence is a great way to go into a huge slump and an even bigger burnout down the line.
Courage is the secret weapon of confident leaders. It’s about being bold enough to make tough decisions, even when it feels like the world is against you. It’s about facing challenges head-on and not backing down. This kind of bravery is not just admirable; it’s the backbone of a confident leader.
Happiness is the cherry on top of confident leadership. It’s about maintaining a positive attitude, even in the face of adversity. It’s about being that ray of sunshine that brightens up the office and lifts everyone’s spirits.
This kind of positivity is infectious. And while there are more practical ways to be productive at work, happiness creates a one-of-a-kind work culture that gets things done and is also enjoyable.
Elevate Your Confidence, and R.I.D.E The Wave
All right, let's bring this home! Leadership isn't about flexing your managerial muscles or simply barking orders. It's about strutting your stuff with confidence and lighting that same fire under your team. But I can already hear you typing. What if you’re shy or introverted? The managerial world is a pretty lonely place, after all. That’s where Wave comes in.
Think of us as your backstage pass to the best leadership gig in town. With our R.I.D.E (Reflect, Investigate, Do, Elevate) methodology, you’re the star of the show, steering your coaching journey in the direction you want it to go. We're not just your support act; we’re your number one fan, ready to cheer you on every step of the way.
Interested in starting working on your goals? Book your first session now.
15 Ways To Motivate Your Employees as a Manager
Motivation can truly move mountains. That is, corporate mountains, of course. Unless you know of anyone who can turn motivation into giants, in which case they might move actual mountains. And, as a manager, one of your duties is to ensure your team of employees stays motivated at all times.Yet, that doesn’t happen very often. You see, many managers and leaders come to us with one regret from their workplace. Their teams are just not motivated enough to get the new projects done efficiently. It’s not necessarily a productivity thing, it’s just that they can’t seem to get the employees on the same page. Or on the same mindset.
The Art Of Delegation – 30 Steps To Delegate Tasks as a Manager
You’ve definitely had those days where your workload is just off the roof. Or up to the roof, to be exact. And, yes, overworking is kind of promoted nowadays. But, as a manager, delegation is a skill you must attain at some point. And I’m talking about effective delegation.You see, effective delegation is about finding the right task for the right person. This will help them grow and help you have an extra hour of sleep or personal time every day. That’s a win-win in my book.Yet, the art of delegation is somewhat of a taboo. No leader, no manager likes to load their team with more of their tasks. Even if they work on these menial things more than anyone else. That’s where I come in and say, “No, guys and gals, you need to delegate some tasks to some folks”.
Leadership Insecurities: 12 Steps To Overcome Them
Overcoming leadership insecurities will take you a lot of time. These are usually fed by some deep self-doubt in your personal life. And, as we know, fixing up your personal life while trying to manage a team and overworking on that new project is about as easy as getting out of bed on a freezing Monday morning.