8 Ways to Build Self-Confidence in Leadership

I was eighteen years old the first time I was put into a formal leadership position as the Assistant Manager of a tuxedo store. I was young, ambitious, and excited to move up at a young age. I have always felt, and been told, I had natural leadership abilities, but this was the first time I had a formal leadership role in the workplace. I had some confidence in my character and ambition, but I started to wonder how I could grow my confidence with no experience. I was lucky to have great leaders over me who coached and developed me along the way.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure working with amazing leaders in various settings. No matter how old or young, new or experienced, I noticed there are so many great leaders who struggle with self-confidence. We all go through seasons of strong and weak performance, but our self-confidence (not cockiness) should be one of the foundational traits we have. Listed below are some of the common ways to build and grow your sense of self-confidence.

 

  1. Know Your Identity.

What do I mean by identity? Our identity is the core belief and center that shapes how we view and interact with the world. Our identity not only shapes our perspectives and ideals, but it drives the type of person we desire to become. Our identity is more than mere reputation, title, and/or status; it is the essence of who we are.

In terms of building self-confidence in leadership, knowing and understanding our identity shapes the way we think, act, and respond towards others. For me, my identity is formed in my faith. I am a Christian. My identity is formed and shaped in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and through the lens of the Bible. As a leader, no matter what I do or don’t do, it will not shake my confidence in who I am. Knowing your identity will boost your self-confidence because it provides a sense of security not determined by others or by your works.

 

  1. Strong Self-Awareness

Do you have a realistic perception and sense of self-awareness? There are so many great personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, the DISC assessment, and the Enneagram test to help you better understand your personality. Growing in self-awareness will boost your self-confidence as you began to learn more about your personality, and how you can improve as a leader.

I like doing a personal S.W.O.T. Analysis for myself and clients to help process your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for growth, and threats that keep you from growing (S.W.O.T.). Personality assessments, tools like the S.W.O.T. Analysis, and understanding how you interact with others will provide you the right place to focus for improvement. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to lead with confidence!

 

  1. New Way of Thinking

Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” A great leader is a great problem solver. In order to lead well, we must have a paradigm shift in our thinking. Stephen Covey, in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, defines this paradigm shift in thinking as principle-centered, character-based, and inside-out approach to personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

In order to boost our self-confidence, we must have this paradigm shift in our thinking! I love Covey’s idea of “inside-out approach” to thinking. Essentially, it is analyzing how you interact within situations instead of approaching it from the outside. For example, let’s say you have an employee who is lazy and unproductive. Many leaders approach that situation and treat the symptoms. The inside-out approach would respond by asking something like, “How can I lead this employee with more hard work and model productivity?” It is a new way of thinking that does not excuse poor behavior, but increases your confidence to lead with more diligence.

 

  1. Be a Learner

Great leaders are great learners. There are so many ways to grow in self-development. I listen to podcasts, read books, go to conferences, watch and learn from others, and still continue to learn about others. Being a great learner will boost your self-confidence because it should give you a humble spirit, allow you to grow your skills, and increase exemplary actions and behaviors.

I am a leadership coach, not because I hold a book of secrets that have to be memorized, but because I am learning to tap in and empower leaders with their skills and experience. A great leadership coach is a great learner, and will leverage your skills and abilities to motivate and accelerate you towards personal and professional success. Your self-confidence grows as your wisdom and knowledge grow!

 

  1. Celebrate Internal & External Wins

Celebrate! I know so many high impact leaders who do not know how to celebrate a personal or professional victory. This is a highly critical skill for leadership and self-confidence. Imagine you are in the National Football League and your team goes to the Superbowl. You win the Superbowl, but do not celebrate because you want to get ready for next season! This sounds extreme. There are so many leaders who understand a win, but they do not celebrate the win.

A practical way to boost your self-confidence is to track wins. Set some personal goals and celebrate them! These can be internal. For example, maybe you see improvement in a skill you are developing, or growing in a personal quality that makes you a better leader. I have several clients who journal, treat themselves to a special dinner, or have a fun way to celebrate their development. Celebrate external wins too! This could be seeing a team victory, or having a major breakthrough with an employee. Discover fun ways to mark and celebrate success. This will naturally boost your confidence.

 

  1. Project Confidence

Projecting confidence is NOT, “fake it until you make it.” Projecting confidence happens in a few ways. First, dress confidently. Take pride in your appearance! There is power and truth in the psychology of dressing for success. This looks different in various environments, but the concept remains the same. Second, body language and posture. 90% of someone’s perception of you is made up in the first 30-60 seconds of your interaction!

Facing fear is real, but you cannot let fear control you. Several of my family and friends are in the military, and they were trained how to react when facing fear. Our brain goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode when triggered. A big part of the training was a mental shift that happened by rigorous practice, a new way of thinking, and projecting confidence! Let’s say you are terrified by public speaking. Boosting your self-confidence in this area will take rigorous practice, focused-thinking, and the ability to take and apply critical feedback. You can do all these things while projecting confidence.

 

  1. Help and Empower Others

Leadership is about helping and empowering others to achieve a common goal or purpose.  Your self-confidence will grow as you lead well, and see others achieve success! This will naturally increase their confidence in you as a leader. We talked about celebrating internal and external wins. That is another way to help and empower others!

As a leader, you want to position people for success. This is a win-win-win situation. The company wins by having multiple empowered people leading up towards success. The people you help and empower win because they now have the confidence and freedom to perform successfully. You as the leader wins because you are empowering others and leading the company towards success. Your confidence will accelerate rapidly as you help and empower others achieve success.

 

  1. Ask for Help

Do not skim over this one! Asking for help is a critical skill for high impact and successful leaders. Confident leaders know what they know and what they don’t know and are not afraid to ask for help. This has to be a part of the paradigm shift in our thinking. We must stop seeing asking for help as a sign of weakness, and start seeing it as part of development. When I was a young Assistant Manager at the tuxedo store, I did not want to ask for help. I believed I had to prove myself, but lucky for me, I had some great leaders who taught me how to ask good questions. A great leader is a learner, and we should never stop learning!

 

Growing in self-confidence greatly relies on you. All of these tips for growing in self-confidence and development are largely in your control. You can do it! If you need help in one or multiple of these areas, go find a seasoned leader to mentor and coach you. Many of these areas can be improved by attending specialized classes, or hiring a professional coach to empower and develop you! As a Professional Leadership Coach, I work with leaders in all positions to equip, empower, and encourage them to grow to their fullest potential. I get to celebrate wins with them as they crush personal and professional barriers keeping them from achieving success. Do not wait! I encourage you to keep going, and you will see your self-confidence grow at a rapid rate!

 

Written by Jonathan Rector

Executive Leadership Coach

Get Coaching. Get Results. How Coaching Leads to Success

Have you ever wondered why you start something but never finish? This happens to all of us in one area or another. I might eat good, work out, and start to lose weight, but after a while I am right back where I started. The common problem we have is not always a lack of motivation or opportunities to change, but a lack of mastering the small things. A friend of mine is in law enforcement, and one of his primary duties is to train first responders on various rescue missions. He says the training is what he enjoys the most. This is the same thing with athletes, soldiers, and other professions. The key to success is learning to master and love the little disciplines. Think about it, so many people want to dabble, but refuse to fully commit. We might have the right skills and get the right education, but without accountability and coaching there cannot be mastery! For example, in order to get a driver’s license, you must first pass a written exam (knowledge), practice driving so many hours (skill), and drive with an instructor (coaching).

Results-Driven Coaching

Results-driven coaching provides you quality coaches to help you:

  • Create a vision of success
  • Identify goals for measurements
  • Ask the right questions
  • Create accountability
  • Empower you for success
  • Celebrate with you

There are various types of coaching out there, but a great coach will help you get results. Rector Professional Coaching provides our clients with the tools to create a Personal Development Plan helping you grow towards success in your career, finances, health, spirituality, relationships, and well-being! If you want real and lasting change then you want to hire a coach that will help develop you and grow towards success.

Tips to Create a Personal Development Plan

  1. What are my goals for this year, 3 years, 5 years?
  2. Why are these goals important to me?
  3. Who do I need to help accomplish this?
  4. What training or education do I need to reach these goals?
  5. Prioritize “Next Steps”
  6. Execute!

Margin Matters: 5 Ways to Create Space in Your Life

Margin Matters: 5 Ways to Create Space in Your Life

Stephen Covey writes, “The key is not spending time but investing it.”

In my experience, some of the most popular phrases I here are: “I’m too busy!” and “I wish I had time for that…” “I wish I had the time.” We all come from different places, but the most common thing we all have is time. It is extremely limited, moves to fast, and we will never get it back. I am no different! I am a husband, father of two, I work two jobs, volunteer in my church, visit my extended family, and somehow am finishing my Master’s Degree. People ask me how can I balance my work load and personal life. I am not perfect, but I have found some ways to create margin in my life. I found 5 ways to create space in my life to be effective:

  1. Prioritize: We give our time, talent, and treasure towards what/whom we desire. Many of us are busy, and we are busy just to be busy! Prioritizing by importance, deadline, and value can create margin in your life by simply eliminating distraction. We can prioritize things in every area of life.

 

  1. Scheduling: This is probably preaching to the choir to my Type A people, but there is truth to scheduling your time. We create space by being intentional and honoring our commitments. Do not think scheduling is limited to meetings, events, or trips. Schedule quiet time, critical thinking time, and time to learn. Leaders are learners, and scheduling time to learn and think critically can greatly impact your work. Scheduling time to rest might sound odd, but it promotes the discipline of scheduling and intentional time to rest.

 

  1. Learn to Say No, so You Can Say Yes: I don’t know about you, but I often have a hard time saying no. I have been taught that when we agree to something, we are also saying no to other things. For example, If I say yes to a good business opportunity I am saying no to family or a greater business opportunity. In terms of margin, it is good to learn to say no when you can so you have the margin or freedom to yes to greater things. It is not always easy to make this decision, but overtime you have more and more opportunities to say no.

 

  1. Focus on What Matters: We all have things we have to do, and after we learn how to prioritize, we can focus on the work that matters and get it done. Whether this is work, relationships, your faith, or relaxation, we must focus on what matters most in life. There are times in my life where I turn down career opportunities to spend more time with family. Many of my friends in the military made sacrifices to serve their country. No matter what type of job you have, we all have the ability to creatively find ways to focus our time, energy, and attention on what or who matters most.

 

  1. Empower Others: Delegate, delegate, delegate. You will be surprised how equipping and empowering others will help create margin in your life. The more you can train, lead, and delegate to others can create space in your schedule to focus on what matters. There are some duties you might not want to delegate, but learn how to go farther and faster together.

 

Margin matters. We need rest, time for creative and effective work, and the freedom to say no so we can say yes. We never get time back. Our investment of our time is probably the most valuable thing we have. Don’t waste it!

 

Written by Jonathan Rector

Executive Leadership & Life Coach

 

What is Executive Leadership Coaching?

What is Executive Leadership Coaching?

You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.” – John Maxwell

 

The road to mastery in any subject consists of three things: Knowledge, experience, and coaching. Think about it. How did you get a driver’s license? You had to take a written test (knowledge), log so many miles and time (experience), and had a parent or adult driver ride with you (coaching). Executive Leadership Coaching is collection of ongoing education in your field (knowledge), inspirational and experienced coaches (experience), and updated exercises and content for development (coaching).

 Certified Executive Leadership Coaching focuses on 5 areas of the leader: Soft Core Business Skills, Hard Core Business Skills, People Skills, Exemplary Leadership Behaviors, Exemplary Leadership Actions.

 

 

  1. Soft Core Business Skills:

Soft core business skills would include items such as being approachable, enthusiastic, having clear core values, etc. Executive leaders have a tremendous amount of responsibility, and the soft core business skills matter to be an exemplary leader.

  1. Hard Core Business Skills:

Hard core business skills include being a strong communicator, good at time-management, being a good steward, etc. The leaders that struggle with this the most are often nonprofit leaders, pastors of small to mid-size churches, and entrepreneurs in start-ups. These leaders are usually forced to carry a majority of the administrative work on top of their passion to serve in their respected fields. They may not have the resources to hire administrative assistants or lack the proper base-line education; but, many of these skills can be caught or taught through experience and education. Coaching provides a systematic approach to developing leaders to be efficient in hard core business skills.

 

  1. People Skills

General Montgomery defines leadership as, “The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” Leadership is about people. Our people skills matter. People skills include empathy, people development, being helpful to others, trusting others to do their job, etc. Leaders might be really good with business, but struggle working and influencing others. A leader exists to invest, influence, and inspire others into action.

 

  1. Exemplary Leadership Behaviors

What qualities or behaviors do great leaders have in common? Exemplary leadership behaviors include: courage, integrity, humility, vision, etc. These are the type of qualities and behaviors we see written in core values. Great leaders start with their character. How can we expect these behaviors from others if we are not willing, or unable, to live them out ourselves? Executive Leadership Coaching will equip, empower, and encourage you to lead to your greatest potential.

 

  1. Exemplary Leadership Actions

Vince Lombardi Said, “Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” Our actions speak louder than words. I am a Christian, and the Bible says a similar message that faith without works (action) is dead (James 2:17). Great leaders are those who are made, developed, and act. Exemplary Leadership Actions include problem-solving, delegation, empowering others, being a learner, etc. We all have blind-spots, but great coaches help us prioritize and execute our goals.

 

Executive Leadership Coaching will tap into your greatest resource-YOU and your team. Coaching provides a collection of ongoing education in your field (knowledge), inspirational and experienced coaches (experience), and updated exercises and content for development (coaching). Leadership development is a journey, and our team of coaches are dedicated to equip, empower, and encourage you to live, lead, and succeed to your fullest potential. Contact us today to book a free session. Do not wait to invest in your leadership.

 

Written by Jonathan Rector

Executive Leadership Coach