Confident leaders effectively manage the tension between confidence and doubt - between believing in themselves and realizing that they may have gaps in their knowledge or abilities. They have a good balance of self-assuredness and an awareness of their own limitations.
So, how do they do this? They become more aware of their strengths, capabilities, and challenges. Confident leaders continuously seek out this information from their direct reports, peers, supervisors, and other important stakeholders. They ask questions, such as:
- What actions have I already taken to address this concern?
- How successful were those actions?
- What else do I need to examine and/or change to achieve the results that I want?
- If I don't make these changes, how will this impact my leadership?
- What plan can I put in place to make small, achievable changes in the short term?
- How will improving this affect other areas of my professional life?
Confident leaders scan their environment for information and slow down to ask questions that provide a deeper understanding and awareness.
"When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment." - John C. Maxwell