During lockdown I have relished the opportunity to indulge in many more books, podcasts, and webinars than time would normally allow.
One of these books was Confidence by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, rediscovered on the bookshelf along with many unread books purchased for holiday reading.
The book outlined the importance of confidence in realising success and how we can create practices that can build positive teams. At a time when so many have been facing incredible challenges both personally and professionally, I found this uplifting and thought it would be good to share.
The key thread was the idea that good leadership is not about the leader, but rather how a leader builds confidence in everyone else around them. While leaders are responsible for big structure and vision that serve as the cornerstone of confidence, just as important are the little gestures that support and inspire people.
One leader delivered success through huge technology advancement and corresponding financial success, but he also led 500 top staff and their spouses onto the dance floor at an annual dinner, personally thanking the spouses for their support. I remember many small gestures in teams I have been a part of, from shared lunches, hand-written thank you notes, internal libraries, homemade treats and even home brews, and the contribution they make to building teams.
When leaders articulate clear values and message regularly, they can incite action when needed and calm to prevent panic. A case study about an airline managing through a power blackout saw staff across every division espousing the messages they had learned from their leaders. The reinforced messaging provided practical information, inspiration, and a feeling of inclusion as everyone knew that they had all heard the same messages consistently.
People can embed positive behavior by creating sound structures. Successful sporting teams have systems to forge their players into victory machines by creating an annual calendar of routine practices, metrics and assessment tools, leadership seminars and scheduled meetings. In my time working in events I saw that having timely and sound frameworks with which to ideate creative concepts was a discipline that fostered innovation together with other imperatives such growing attendance, media coverage and visitation.
Good leadership involves motivating others to be their best and channeling their efforts in the right direction. As a pattern of success continues, many people at many levels become more confident and this multiplies. “When people have confidence in one another, they are willing to lead and be led by the team. They do not have to second guess, double back, or duplicate other people’s work. Energy is freed and focus is possible when people have confidence in one another.” 1
Confidence is enhanced when people are empowered to solve problems and voice their ideas, starting by welcoming ideas from any level in the organisation. In my last organisation, responsible for delivering events, every member of the team whether from reception, finance, marketing or events, had valuable insight to add to programming and customer experience from their own perspective. Increasing the value you deliver to customers makes it possible to stay ahead of the competition
If people look positively at themselves and the hidden value of their assets, they are more likely to discover strengths that they can cultivate, and if people look positively at the opportunities any situation provides, they are more likely to see that their actions make a difference.
Confidence is not a fixed attribute; it is the outcome of the thoughts we think and the actions we take. No more, no less. It is not based on your actual ability to succeed at a task but your belief in your ability to succeed. For instance:
The great news is that wherever our confidence level sits we can build on it when we need to. 2
The single most powerful way to build confidence is to act with the confidence you aspire to have. That is, to act as if you already possess the confidence you aspire to have. Speak up. Reach out. Stretch yourself. Exit your comfort zone!
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Find your power pose – stand up tall, shoulders back, chin up, smile confidently, and move your body into the posture of someone who is highly self-assured.
“If you’re presenting yourself with confidence, you can pull off pretty much anything.” – Katy Perry
Think of someone you admire who radiates a quiet sense of confidence, then think about what they would do or say if they were facing your current challenges and opportunities. Channel their self-confidence, certitude, and bravery.
To help us rebuild and reimagine what is possible going forward we will need a lot of confidence in ourselves as individuals to support others, whether that is being part of a sports team, community group, start up or large organisation.
Our philosophy is to build actionable plans that inspire an internal culture of positivity, to deliver distinctive experiences across every touchpoint in the business, to outperform competitors and foster allegiance with customers.
We are excited to hear from you. Whether you’re ready to get started on the groundwork or want to explore how we can transform your customer experience. Click here
1.Confidence How Winning Streaks & Losing streaks Begin & End by Rosabeth Moss Kanter published Three River Press New York
2. Forbes Feb 26, 2015, Use It Or Lose It: The Science Behind Self-Confidence Margie Warrell Contributor