As I was thinking about leadership this morning, I started going through the different words that I associate with leaders. Many come to mind but one stuck out – confident. Leaders display some level of confidence in their actions or in their team. Used in this way, confidence has a two-fold effect: 1. creates a sense of trust by the team members in the leader and 2. shows the team members that the leader has trust in them. In this sense, confidence comes down to trust. It may be fair to say that confidence equals trust because without one you really can’t have the other.
Assume there is a decision to make and the responsibility is up to you to make it. It is possible you have very little data or supporting evidence to base your decision on; however a choice must be made. If you make the decision with a large amount of waffling or outward insecurity, what message does that project to the team members both in the choice and in you as the leader? Keep in mind that as a leader you do not always have to make decisions all by yourself. In fact, soliciting team members for their input is encouraged to gain their insight and engagement on the path forward. Nevertheless, the final authority and responsibility lies with you as the leader, which is important to remember, especially if things go wrong.
How many times in life do we make the best choice possible and hope for the right outcome? The key is the confidence which can directly drive to the results desired. If the leader has confidence, the team may be more willing to put faith and trust in the decision (and the leader) as well. With the team’s support, the leader can show trust and faith back to the team by working together to accomplish goals. Confidence can be the building block for a strong team.
– Lori Buresh
CEO, The Professional Development Team