I was watching a television show the other night about a young man who wanted to be a standup comedian. He got on stage and did his routine (as bad as it was) but soon realized that he lacked the self-confidence to be a comedian.
I realized that for any job: comedian, doctor, or chief, a certain level of self-confidence is required to be successful.
Great leaders have a strong presence and bearing. They are unflappable people that never let you see them sweat. Everything from how they carry themselves to how they speak and dress ooze self-confidence.
How does a chief become self-confident?
- Learn you are not perfect. There are never right or wrong answers to complex business decisions. The best that you can do as a leader is to gather all of the information you can, do a cost-benefit analysis of potential options, use your best judgment-and then make a decision.
- Commit. (I learned this on the golf course.) Commit and go for it. Don’t second-guess yourself. Believe in what you are doing and with positive expectations toward the achievement of your vision.
- Failure is always a possibility. You are going to make mistakes. Learn from them and move on–don’t dwell on them.
- Put on a brave front even though you are scared on the inside. Everyone can be afraid at times. If you are a leader, your direct reports will read this. If you show a lack of courage, you will begin to damage your employees’ self-confidence.
- Find happiness and contentment in your work. Do the best you can. Follow your heart. When you win, celebrate. When you lose, just start over the next day.