Boosting Your Confidence as a Leader

Boosting your confidence as a leader is essential for effective leadership. Confidence enables you to make sound decisions, inspire your team, and create a positive work environment. However, many new leaders struggle with confidence, which can lead to mistakes and a loss of trust in their team.

A confident leader working speaking in front of a group of people

Challenges to Confidence

New leaders are often thrust into their roles without a clear understanding of expectations or preparation, particularly when managing former colleagues who may not comprehend the shift in their relationship. 

These and other factors can lead to mistakes, creating uncertainty and a loss of confidence in their leadership effectiveness. 

Although a strong ego can help offset these obstacles, it can also contribute to a blindness to failures and a reliance on positional power, which can be detrimental to leadership effectiveness.

The Importance of Confidence

Confidence is essential to effective leadership. 

Leading with confidence enables consistency in behaviour, grounded in knowledge of oneself, one’s values, abilities, and one’s ability to lead the team. This consistency is the foundation of strong and capable leadership that inspires trust in employees.

Managers manage tasks, while leaders manage vision and people.

Good leaders are confident in leading and managing others, creating an environment where innovation and teamwork thrive. They welcome their teammates’ contributions and create a culture of collaboration and camaraderie, fostering an atmosphere of safety and autonomy.

Image illustrating that trust involves team work

The Importance of Middle Managers

Middle managers are essential to any organization, serving as the link between senior leadership and frontline employees. Their effectiveness has a direct impact on the company’s success, making it imperative to motivate this segment of the workforce. 

Middle managers implement and execute the company’s strategies and goals. When motivated, they lead by example, set high standards, and inspire their teams to perform at their best. This leads to increased productivity and operational efficiency, building employee confidence in their leadership.

A lack of middle manager capabilities has serious and even crippling consequences for an organisation.

Boosting Confidence

Illustration showing steps involved with Boosting Your Confidence as a Leader
Preparing Yourself for Leadership
You must want the role:

The desire to lead is the motivational basis for leadership success and confidence in what you are doing. Be clear about your leadership vision for your team. It’s about your leadership vision for yourself and taking a team of people to the top.

Know the expectations:

Know your manager’s expectations for you and your team. 

Spend time with your manager to get clarity with regard to their expectations for you and your team. Misalignment here can only result in disappointment and a certain loss of trust and confidence.

Enable yourself with training, coaching, etc:

Regardless of your experience, leadership growth is a lifelong task. Learn and grow through training, coaching, advice, guidance, and support, which can make things easier and boost your confidence when facing the day-to-day challenges of managing people.

Leadership development should not be an event, it should be a process that’s integrated into the fabric of the organization.” 

Kevin Kruse
Confident woman smiling while she works
The Mind Shift from Individual Contributor to Leader:

Moving from an individual contributor to a manager involves shifting responsibilities from doing work to getting things done through others. The mindset shifts from going solo to promoting teamwork, thinking about your growth to being responsible for others, and avoiding conflicts to embracing them, etc. is extremely important to ensure your best response to each situation. The important trap to avoid is to do everything yourself.

Your job is no longer about the number of lines of code you write, what bugs you fix, or the changes you push to production. It involved bringing people together, helping them realize their own potential, and empowering them to produce some of their best work.

This mind shift is a conscious decision you need to make.

Make it right now.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.”

Jack Welch

This shift is crucial to ensure the best response to each situation. You will make mistakes, but learning from them, experimenting with new strategies, and repeating the process will build your confidence, making you an effective leader of people.

Man pressing a button on a screen that says Boost

Tips for Boosting Your Confidence as a Leader Once in the Leadership Role

Ask for feedback on what you do well.

Knowing where you excel as a manager can help you build confidence. But if you can’t see those things for yourself, outside insights can help. So ask your mentors, colleagues, and employees for feedback on what you do well as a manager. Hearing where you’re doing a good job can give you the boost of confidence you need to step up and become a better leader. 

Recognizing where you excel as a manager can help you build confidence.

Improve your management skills 

Confidence and competence are closely linked; when you feel like you’re equipped to do your job, you’ll feel more confident doing it. So, if you want to increase your confidence as a manager, dedicate time to developing new skills (for example, by reading management books or attending a leadership workshop). Leaders are lifelong learners. 

Doing things that boost your confidence as a leader

Doing things that make you feel confident in your personal life can help you feel more confident overall, including as a manager. Consider where you feel most confident, it may be on the basketball court, while spending time with friends, or when you’re on a run. Whatever it is for you, spend more time doing that.

Cultivating Confidence: The Path to Effective Leadership

In summary, boosting your confidence as a leader is vital for your success and the success of your team. It enables you to make sound decisions, inspire your team, and cultivate a positive work environment. While challenges to confidence exist, particularly for those new to leadership roles, effective strategies exist for building and strengthening this essential quality.

By embracing challenges, seeking feedback, and honing your leadership skills, you can cultivate the confidence that inspires trust, drives innovation, and empowers your team to achieve remarkable results.

Being confident is part of being an effective leader, and it is a leadership skill that can be built over time.