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How can I be a Confident Leader?

How can I be a confident leader?

How to be a Confident Leader

If you wish to be perceived as a confident leader, there are six qualities of a confident leader that you need to develop in yourself. Those qualities are:

  1. Total commitment to a goal.
  2. The ability to develop innovative yet practical plans capable of achieving the goal at point 1 above.
  3. High level communication skills.
  4. Emotional resilience: The ability to handle setbacks and temporary defeats.
  5. The ability to resolve conflicts within the team.
  6. The ability to inspire positive emotions in the minds of others.

Let us say a few words about each;

1. Total commitment.

Leaders are leaders because they lead people to a definite goal. The achievement of the goal usually takes a long time and many obstacles need to be overcome and many setbacks will be dealt with. Goal achievement is achieved only by those who are 100% committed to the goal.

  • A half-hearted approach will not cut it.
  • A timid approach will not cut it.

If you want to be considered a leader, then you need to put in 100% commitment into whatever goal is the object of your ambition.

Total commitment to doing your best, every day, irrespective of the conditions, irrespective of what the others are doing and irrespective of how you feel. This is the mark of the leader and it is the starting point of all achievement.

So, the first question you have to answer is: To what goal can I give total commitment?

The answer to that question tells you where you will be most effective as a leader.

2. The ability to develop innovative, yet practical plans, capable of achieving the above-mentioned goal.

Anyone can dream up a goal. It's easy to dream of big things. After you have a goal in mind, the next thing you will need is a practical plan capable of achieving the goal. A leader is only as good as the plan he or she is using.

Proper planning is the core of your confidence. You will be confident only in so far as you have a plan. Confidence comes by knowing what you are doing. If you don't know what you are doing, then it is almost impossible to feel confident.

If you want to feel confident, then you need to know what you are doing. And that means that you must always be planning ahead.

Confident leaders are incessant planners.

  • They plan their months.
  • They plan their weeks.
  • They plan their days.
  • They plan their next meeting.

If you want to be a leader, the question you need to answer is: To what degree are you a good planner?

3. High level communication skills.

Now you have a goal and a plan, you will need to communicate it to all those who need to know.

People who are perceived as confident leaders, have all made great efforts developing their communication skills. These communication skills include the following subset skills:

  1. Clear expression of a specific message.
  2. Explaining the benefits of a course of action.
  3. Making presentations and giving briefings.
  4. Listening to other people's ideas

If you are a leader, then ask yourself the following questions;

  1. To what degree are you able to clearly express your exact meaning?
  2. To what degree are you able to "sell the benefits" of your message and cause your listeners to accept your ideas, as "good ideas"?
  3. To what degree are you a competent communicator, within the context of a team meeting or briefing?
  4. To what degree are you good at taking notes of other people's good ideas?

4. Emotional resilience: The ability to handle setbacks and temporary defeats.

Even though you have a goal and a plan you will probably not win on the first attempt. Before you win, you will have to put up with many setbacks and defeats.

Therefore, you need to have emotional resilience. You need to be able to take defeat and use it to motivate yourself and push-on towards final victory. Most people take defeat as a sign that they should give up.

Leaders who are perceived as confident are those who do not take defeat as permanent failure. They take defeat as a source of information that needs to be assimilated into the plan.

If you are a leader, then ask yourself these questions:

  1. To what degree are you able to learn the lessons of a defeat and come back stronger with a revised plan of action?
  2. To what degree do you feel defeated by a setback or a criticism?
  3. To what degree do you have emotional resilience?

5. The ability to resolve conflicts within the team.

All teams are made up of individuals who share the common goal, and who have agreed to follow the leader. That does not mean that all the members of the team like each other, so conflicts within the team are inevitable.

The leader has to iron out the conflicts within the team. The leader knows that, "a house divided cannot stand", so, internal conflicts within teams must be handled quickly.

Good, confident leaders resolve conflicts quickly. They nip problems in the bud early, by finding reasonable compromises and gaining the agreement between the warring factions, to work together towards the goal, and to settle their sub set arguments quickly.

A leader has the ability to defuse emotions, uncover the facts, figure out the cause, work out a solution, and gain a commitment to the corrective action.

If you are a leader then ask yourself these questions:

  1. To what degree are you able to separate the facts from the emotions, and to objectify the description of the problem?
  2. To what degree are you able to find possible compromise solutions that will mediate between two warring factions?
  3. To what degree are you able to gain the commitment of others, to agree to a compromise solution?

6. The ability to inspire positive emotions in the minds of others.

The last skill is another communication skill: It is the skill of motivational rhetoric.

All great leaders are terrific motivational speakers. They practice for years to develop their skills.

Think of well-known confident leaders and you will find they are almost all good communicators; Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher.

If you would be a confident leader, you need to study how to motivate people with language.

That means putting into words the earlier points we have made:

  1. You need to state the goal.
  2. You need to state the plan.
  3. You need to resolve any disagreements.
  4. You need to help others to develop emotional resilience.
  5. You need to be able to verbalise an optimistic vision of a better future.

Ask yourself to what degree you are able to:

  1. Explain your goal.
  2. Explain your plan.
  3. Inspire an optimistic view of the future?

Quiz: Do you have good leadership skills

Discover if you have good leadership skills with our quick quiz.

If you're interested in getting the best from yourself and others, have a look at this fantastic two-day course on Leadership and Management.

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About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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