Confidence is the cornerstone of leadership. You can teach someone to be an effective problem-solver, be a better communicator, add more commitment, be passionate, and many other fundamentals of leadership. But, if a leader doesn't believe in himself or herself, true leadership will exist only in title and position. A leader that is technically qualified for the position but lack confidence will find it difficult to lead and inspired others. Francisco Dao once said, "Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best."
I once misunderstood the difference between displaying self-confidence and being aggressive in style of leadership. The truth is that they are far from the same. Those who are aggressive are better referred to as bullies, not leaders. Leaders who are with strong confidence do not have a need to be aggressive to get their goals accomplished. Being aggressive is actually a sign of lack of confidence. People like to work with leaders who are truly confident but avoid bullies. Why is this so? Because when a leader exhibits confidence, it makes it easier to trust that leader, and people want to work with leaders they trust.
Exhibiting confidence was only stage-setting, of course. The real confidence-builder was preparation. Alex Ferguson, in his book Leading, said that he prepared his players for every game, for every eventuality. Going into a football field, they believed that they would not encounter a situation that they weren't prepared to handle. Think of Julius Caesar's observation: "Without training, they lacked knowledge. Without knowledge, they lacked confidence. Without confidence, they lacked victory." Success, in turn, brought more confidence, which brought more success. You'll be surprised how much confidence a little success will bring!
Leaders who have self-confidence believe and trust in his or her team. When a leader believed in others, they came to believe in themselves. "Trust men and they will be true to you," reasoned Ralph Waldo Emerson, "treat them greatly and they will show themselves great." When a leader exhibits confidence, he can inspire others to be confident too – and convinced them that together they would succeed.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.