The Role of Confidence in Leadership

by | Mar 7, 2022 | Leadership | 0 comments

I’ve seen a lot of leaders struggle with creating change, organisation-wide or within a smaller team.
They have a vision of the new way, can articulate it well, and yet there’s still a struggle.

Apart from that super tricky thing called patience, because change takes consistent effort over time, there’s something else that is needed.


But let me just take a moment to let myself dream: wouldn’t it be wonderful if change could happen in a snap of the fingers? Or like in all the movies, after one motivational speech: “Hey we need to do this now (rousing speech…)” and everyone cheers and then immediately complies. Sigh.
I’d be happily out of a job if this is all it would take. But it’s not that simple. Deep sigh. It sure is nice to wish though.
Ok, back to the post.

The other thing that’s needed: Confidence.

No surprise, I gave it away in the title.

Today though I’m not talking about your confidence in yourself as a leader. That’s important for sure. The confidence I’m talking about is expressed in this quote I took from a book I just read:

“They take confidence in what they can do from the confidence you show in them” – Zamiel from Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce.

It’s about our task to show our people that we believe that they can.

Not that blind faith that everyone can see is fake. But that confidence in their abilities you have because you paid attention.

Here’s a recent story of someone I work with.

Going to bed at all hours
No fixed routines
Get distracted easily
Days or weeks when they seem to procrastinate on even small tasks.
Gets the job done, but know they have so much more to give.

It’s something I see in many engineers and developers. Is it their creative minds at work?

I also see that they are:

Brilliantly insightful about their work
Bring energy to people around them
Incredibly creative AND follow structured processes

They know that they could build great things if they made it natural to maintain some regularity in their behaviour. 
But they don’t think they can actually do it.

And we all suffer from self doubt. My goodness, it happens to me on an almost daily basis, I’ve just learned not to listen to it too much anymore.

So when I listen to them, I pay attention to the other side of the story: the evident capability, and the potential. Then I do an exercise with them so they can see it for themselves.
Something comes back: the belief that it is actually possible for them. Recognition that they do have the capability to be that person who builds great things.

I love that I get to do this for the people who work with me: reflect back to them their true greater selves. Show confidence in them that they can make it happen.
And I’m happy that I found this quote that so succinctly describes this role of confidence in leadership.

So over to you: have a look around. Who needs this from you?

“What’s a leadership series? How’s it different from the thought series or coaching tips? Good questions.“ This series gives you tips to take your own leadership to the next level, and ways you can extend your own capabilities. Ready to take your skills to the next level, but aren’t sure where to start? Get in touch with me.

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