In the March 2016 Entrepreneur Magazine, there was a great article about 22 Must Have Leadership Qualities. I found the article to be so powerful that I am spending a few minutes each week thinking about how I can improve these leadership skills myself. Like most things in life, you get what you focus your attention on. If you want to be great marathon runner, you have to focus on running…. a lot. And if you want to be a leader in your organization, you have to focus on it and improve your skills every day, every week and every year.
Great leaders are not born. They are made over time and one of the qualities that every great leader has in common is CONFIDENCE. Because developing confidence is so important to leaders this is one of the life skills that we need to help our children establish early on. Helping our future generation become confident about themselves can help build the leaders of tomorrow.
How to Develop Confidence
In the quote from Barri Rafferty, CEO of Ketchum, North America you can find three tips to becoming a confident leader; clear vision, showing empathy and being a strong coach. I would like to add a fourth, which I believe is one of my strengths and has given me the confidence I need to lead in my current organization and into the future – In Depth Knowledge.
Dr. Ben Carson, in his book A Guide to T.H.I.N.K B.I.G., discussed how as a young man he gained confidence in his ability to learn by becoming a voracious reader and obtaining in depth knowledge about every topic he was interested in. This in depth knowledge about topics that interested him helped transform him from the dumbest kid in class to one of the smartest. The confidence that he gained from his early success with reading and learning helped to propel him to have an amazing career as a surgeon and candidate for President.
As a leader you often have to make quick decisions and process complex information. Having in depth knowledge on many topics, especially those within your field, allows leaders to have the confidence to make not only the best decision but the right decision.
The #3 Must Have Leadership Quality, Transparency is next up.