• 24 Jun, 2024

Building Confidence as a leader: A perfect guide

Building Confidence as a leader: A perfect guide

How to be a more confident leader?

Never undervalue the value of self-assurance in leadership when you run a creative agency. Building your leadership confidence is the foundation for your business success.

You see, the foundation for your leadership's success is self-confidence. Your team will have more confidence when you feel more confident. I recently read an essay by Francisco Dao on Inc.com in which he persuasively argues that confidence is the most important quality for a leader to possess:

"The essential building block from which leadership develops is self-confidence." Building a house on sand would be like to attempting to teach leadership without first developing confidence. Although it may have a lovely coat of paint, it is essentially at best shaky.

How to be more confident and feel good as business leader.

Whatever your goal, it helps to have a clear vision of what you want and how you plan on achieving it. The goal here is to build your own confidence. We can condense the process into elements of confidence:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Focus
  3. Know your boundaries
  4. Let your voice be heard

Let’s look at each in turn.

1. Know yourself

Understanding yourself as a unique person is the first step to being a confident leader. Knowing your skills and limitations will help you focus your efforts accordingly. Knowing your motivations and how your personality influences how you interpret the world around you are equally necessary.

Here are three activities you can begin doing right away to get to know yourself better.

➣Know your worth

Building confidence in leadership – your leadership – starts with you. It is crucial that you are confident in your abilities and value. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips that can help with finding your worth:

  • Understand the skills that are needed to lead effectively
  • Make a list of the skills you bring to the table
  • Describe how you deliver on those skills

With this one simple exercise, you should already become more confident. You’ve got the leadership skills needed to deliver, and you know how to deliver.

➣Remember the times you have succeeded

It's crucial to absorb lessons from your blunders when you look back on your career. It's even more crucial to keep in mind your achievements. When things are not going well, it is not your fault; instead, it is the result of stronger forces outside of your control.

So what happens if we're not performing at our best right now?

As a leader, it's critical to maintain your optimism and recognise the times when you've succeeded in your role. And remember that you are still the person who is capable of great accomplishments.

➣Go for small wins during your day

It's crucial to take baby steps and accomplish what you can. You may progress by accomplishing more and achieving more as time goes on if you start with tiny victories. You should do this frequently since it will eventually become a habit and assist you in developing a confident mindset.

Uncertain about where to begin? You may earn a tonne of little victories throughout the day.

For instance, you might make a commitment to yourself to read one page of a book each time you take an hour off from using the computer. Alternately, make a commitment to track how many glasses of water you drank prior to lunch whenever you take a sip.

2. Focus

Leaders must concentrate on their own advantages and disadvantages. This will enable you to concentrate your time and effort on activities that will lead to achievement.

Knowing what is crucial and how you are doing in relation to your priorities can help you maintain focus and boost your confidence.

Many people are unaware of this fact, yet focus is a never-ending circle. The more you practise staying focused, the more self-assured you grow in your ability to do so, and the more of your goals you will succeed in achieving.

Here are my top three suggestions for maintaining concentration:

➣Set goals that you can accomplish by the end of the day

If you set goals for yourself that you know are not realistic, it will make it difficult for you to accomplish them. When you don’t accomplish your goals, you’ll feel like a failure.

A long to-do list also makes you feel like a failure. You only have a set amount of time in each day, and everyone wants a piece of it. A shorter to-do list of a maximum of three goals will help you build your confidence.

➣Make promise and decision with three-tier justification

Never decide or promise something until you can back it up with three arguments. For instance:

Today, Bob requests a meeting with you. In what ways does that help you? How does that help your company? If you meet tomorrow rather than today, would Bob's job come to a halt?

Here is how the three-tier justification process might operate in your company:

You're thinking of making a purchase of a new computer system. Is it necessary to spend so much money? Real-time communication between all teams will be enabled by the new computer system, which will also stop work from being done twice. This will speed up the delivery of your clients' products while cutting down on frustration, errors, and work-package time. Customers will be satisfied, and the company can increase pricing without having to take on extra work.

This is just one example, but I hope you get the idea.

➣Focus on the things you do best

Leaders who are confident in their ability to handle challenges don’t need to keep control over everything. They focus on what they do best and delegate or drop anything else. This helps them stay productive by not being distracted by issues that they aren’t able to tackle on their own.

Look at your to-do list every day. Does it include things that you shouldn’t be doing? What can you delegate? What can you drop? Trim your to-do list to those three important goals.

3. Know your boundaries

A confident business leader understands their limitations and works within them instead of trying to be someone they are not. They understand how important self-awareness is to make the most out of their strengths and weaknesses. With this knowledge, you will be better at doing these four things:

➣Learn to say No

One of the key skills for becoming a confident leader is learning how to say no.

‘The power of no allows you to focus on what is most important to improve the overall health of your business. The benefits of saying no are numerous: it reduces stress, increases productivity, increases happiness, improves innovation and creativity, and reduces the possibility of business owner burnout.

➣Stop avoiding conflicts

As a leader, you have an obligation to your team and the clients that you serve. Conflict is inevitable, but when it comes to the work of a leader, it becomes necessary and unavoidable. You must stop avoiding conflict. You need to learn how to handle conflict and deal with it whenever it arises. 

Remember, your employees and your clients need guidance. You really can say no to a customer and stay in the helicopter!

When you can handle conflict effectively, you can help your team members know how they should approach conflicts in their day-to-day interactions.

➣Solve what you have been tolerating

Now that you have stopped avoiding conflict, it’s time to solve what you have been tolerating. Time makes all conflicts worse.

Think about what you have been tolerating. It doesn’t matter why, it’s time to take action against bad practices, bad attitudes, poor communication, etc. Tolerating these things will not make them go away, it will only make the team’s performance worse – affecting productivity and morale.

As a leader, your actions create a culture of improvement and keep your team motivated in the long run. Tackle those things you have been tolerating. Put this on your list of daily goals.

➣Don't be afraid of asking for what you need

Leadership is not an easy job. It requires strength, confidence, patience, and charisma. As a leader, you will find it hard to ask for what you need from your team because asking for help is often (mistakenly, in my opinion) seen as a sign of weakness. It really isn’t. 

To be a confident leader and avoid feeling trapped in a problem rather than being able to solve it, you should be open to asking for help – even when it feels uncomfortable.

There are many ways to ask for what you need. Here are some ideas for you to try:

  • Let your team know what your goals are and why they’re important
  • Figure out how much of something you need to achieve your goal
  • When asking for help, frame it as a mutually beneficial situation

Don’t be afraid of asking for what you need. It can help you get ahead, leads your team more effectively, and cements your employees’ feelings of self-worth.

4. Let your voice be heard

You must share your thoughts and ideas if you want to be a self-assured leader. Your credibility will rise and others' trust will grow as a result of your transparency.

I am aware that sometimes it might be difficult to fight the impulse to hold back your ideas out of fear of being rejected. But if you don't have enough self-assurance, neither will anyone else. Speaking up is important, but so is having the assurance that your thoughts will be valued and heard. Remembering who you are and what makes you who you are as a person also helps.

Therefore, never be scared to express a strong opinion. The supportive responses you'll get will surprise you. Clients are curious.

Reach your unlimited potential in leadership

Do you want to create a successful, self-assured company? Everything begins with you. The best leaders in the world, according to Steve Jobs, "don't tell people what to do but show them how." Only when you are a confident leader and show it on a daily basis can you develop leadership confidence.

No matter how much experience others have, there is only one person you will never outgrow: yourself. Although you may not be aware of it yet, you have limitless potential as a leader.