Over the years many people have come to me wanting to discuss leadership, in particular confidence in their leadership. But more often than not, when I work with clients, managers or CEOs asking this question of “how” to gain these skills, I will answer them with:
“Where do you currently lead from?”
You see, I have found over the years that, in many ways, leading others can be simplified, but leading ourselves appears, at first, to be far more complex.
In order to lead with confidence, we must first learn to lead ourselves with confidence, and breaking that down even further, we must first learn to lead ourselves.
Now, the rest of this blog might come across as a little “woo-woo” to some. But it really isn’t AND if you take on board the information being presented, I think you will have a far greater depth of understanding of what confidence in leadership is with these “woo-woo” words.
In order to lead with confidence, we need to lead from our heart and with an understanding of our purpose, which also comes from the heart - KTH.
Just as small drops of water make the mighty ocean, the little things we do each and every day will have an impact on how we lead with confidence.
When you came into this world, and as adulting took over, you might have started to realise that great desire in your heart to understand your "purpose" in life. More often than not, questioning "Well, what is it?!"
And now, having worked with 1000s on people, I truly believe and see that those answers were there from the very start.
However, in the process of growing up, we have somehow forgotten what exactly that purpose was, even down to the simple of "What is it that you liked and what is that you enjoyed doing when you were younger? Why have you stopped?"
Working with clients, I hear their call for more freedom, more "balance" and that they have become too tied up in their day to day responsibilities. So much so, that it feels almost impossible for them to spare even 10 minutes to reflect on their lives, their direction, their dreams and goals.
One of our purposes in life is to clear the "stuff and mess" that prevents us from hearing our heart - KTH.
The conversations with your heart should keep getting clearer and the best way to do it is to find time to do what you enjoy - whether that be in your life and/or your business!
Here's the crazy thing about doing what you love - it straight away means that you have all the aptitude and intelligence necessary to do the "thing" effortlessly even though you may not realise it.
And because of that, because you do what you do effortlessly and from a place of heart, you are leading yourself with confidence.
How can we help this process?
- Slow down, pause, listen and pay attention.
If we are feeling unfulfilled, there is a strong chance we are ignoring what our heart is telling us. If you don’t like to use the term heart, exchange it for “gut”. It is that very part of you that niggles at you to do and be something different.
Remember, in order to lead with confidence we have to lead ourselves with confidence and that sometimes means making the difficult decision to change or challenge or stand up for the actions we want to take.
But in order to do that, we first have to make the time to listen to the message.
- Find your flock - birds of a feather, flock together.
Life becomes easy when you are among the people who are more or less on the same plane of thought as you and it’s easier to relate to them. As I once heard from our Two Coach podcast guest, Kurt Lindley, we must create a “Board Of Advisors” for our life and business - ones that are supportive and cheer for us, but ones that challenge us too.
He is totally right. Because when we have that “team” around us, or even gather in the circles of those that inspire us, we realise that they seem to understand our vision, purpose and dreams and vice versa.
Setting the right environment means that we have a greater chance of leading ourselves with confidence.
- Set Achievable Goals and Go for it!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”Lao Tzu.
If you really want to learn HOW to lead yourself with confidence AND to lead others with confidence, we can take the steps towards it in the same way we would set any goal or focus for development and personal growth.
- The idea is to begin with a small single step that can then be further developed into giant strides - first we have to put on our trainers, tie our laces together, and exit the door, before we start to run. What task is the equivalent of putting on your shoes?
- Learn to do the work at hand rather than to overwhelm yourself by looking at the entirety of a mammoth looking task.
- Realise that the soil underneath your feet right now will one day be replaced with the top of the mountain - it too, will someday be under your feet.
- The only way to do something is through it - warts and all - with DAILY ACTION and trusting yourself to GO FOR IT!
- No matter how small the progress is, it is still progress in the direction of where and who you want to be.
- Break a big task into a list of small tasks to be completed and then split those tasks across your week.
- Reflect at the end of each day on all that has been achieved, be honest with yourself, challenge yourself, be proud of yourself, LISTEN to yourself even more, and then go again.
If you lead from your heart, if you follow that path, you continue to gain that trust in yourself. By doing so, and by taking those action steps along that path, slowly but surely confidence will be there guiding your way - KTH.