Leading the Way to Confidence

Confidence can come and go. One day you have it and the next it waffles. Even the most successful leaders have moments where confidence drops out. All the past successes are forgotten as we stand there facing the next challenge. Why don’t our past experiences help us maintain confidence in the face of uncertainty?

Because we have NEVER faced this challenge, this situation before.

“Remember. Every time you grow, you’re growing into a new area. So, all of the sudden those old securities come back.” 

~Sharon Gill, Side by Side Podcast, Season 2: Episode 10

Beyond your own internal struggle to grab hold of confidence, our teams feel the impact of shaky confidence. People will naturally try to find ways to step in and create certainty. It can look like insubordination, however it’s really their effort to bring stability to the situation they are in. When leaders don’t give attention to building the skill of confidence, teams can lose faith and step outside their lane to find the stability they need.

I was leading a team through a building project, sorting through its various demands and adding new team members to fill out the team. I had no clue and everyone was looking to me for the answers as we encountered challenges and opportunities. I could have made us some  uneducated guesses to calm us all down. And, they would have followed. And, I would have been all wrong. Instead, I gathered them together for a meeting to work out the plan together. My strategy to build my own confidence was to stay in the lane where I was still confident. I was confident in facilitating a conversation. I was not yet confident in managing a building project and major growth initiative. So, I used the confidence I did have to tackle the area where I lacked confidence.

Developing and leveraging confidence is necessary to lead your team. They need you to be confident. And it’s not a one-time effort. It’s more like developing deeper confidence every time you face a new thing. As you work to build your confidence in layers you increase your capability to lead others and build trust in those you lead. Start strengthening your confidence today with just one thing that sparks hope that you can be confident facing a new challenge or situation.

Next Steps

  1. Meditate on truths. It may be an inspirational quote. A message you heard from a mentor. A scripture that chases away the lies. Take just ten minutes and focus on these truths. What stands out to you for this current situation you are facing? How can you use this insight to move forward?
  2. Celebrate past successes. We forget to look back when we are overwhelmed by what is in front of us. You may not have been here before, but you have faced uncertainty before. So, look back. What did you do? How did you do it? How does seeing that past success help you approach this new situation?
  3. Read a book+. There are so many resources out there to help us that it can actually feel  overwhelming. Narrow the focus down to just ONE question that matters right now. What is that first question that you need an answer to? Who can you ask for a book, blog or podcast that can help? Making things “bite size” builds confidence. “Rinse and repeat” as needed.
  4. Lean on your “circle.” We may not have faced this situation before but someone else has. Sometimes we forget that people are just waiting for us to ask. Who in your circle has faced something like this before? What questions could you ask that would help you become more confident in this situation? In the next situation?

Check out the Side By Side Podcast episode, Confident in your Calling for more insight on how you can build your confidence and bring your team along with you. You are called to be a confident leader!

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Annie Perdue Olson

Annie is founder of Leading Better Together, guiding leaders through the relationship and people challenges that sidetrack ministry. With 20+ years of experience in nonprofit management and pastoral ministry she equips people and teams to work better together. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources and Change Leadership from St. Thomas University and received her coaching certification from the Center for Coaching Excellence.

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