9. Have Confidence. These may seem a little silly, but so many leaders that I come across lack confidence either in small part or large part. Often, having confidence is confused with not having humility – and that couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a humble type of confidence, although it’s a balance, that can be found…and must be found. People respond well to confidence, but they respond in an even bigger way when leaders lack confidence.
Have you ever worked for or with a leader that lacked confidence? The result is a team that doesn’t listen to or follow the leader. Or, even worse, the result can be a team that has no respect for a leader and therefore doesn’t pull their own weight or they sabotage the goals of the organization or department. A leader’s confidence is no more on the front stage than when crises arise. The team is looking for the leader to say everything is going to be ok and to point towards answers or plans.
Once again, I am not advocating a false confidence in any way. There is never a time for a leader to have or show a false sense of confidence. However, confidence can be found in many places for a leader and does not always reside in him/herself. A leader can have confidence in the team they lead. A leader can have confidence in the processes or technology or machinery that they have at their disposal. A leader can have confidence in the leadership that they follow. If the leader is Christian, the leader can have confidence in God and that He will work things out.
How would you rate yourself on the confidence scale – are you a 1, 10, or somewhere in between? How have you seen a lack of confidence from a leader (maybe you) impact an organization?
10. You need a mentor. Someone who’s just ahead of you helping to point the way. Someone who’s been there and done that – and done it well…or not so well. In either case, there are lessons to be learned. This point goes hand and hand with the point about being a LifeLong Learner. You should have someone who you are able to talk to about the things you’re doing and get wisdom and sound advice from.
The key with getting a mentor is that YOU have to ask. It is very rare that someone would approach you and say they would like to mentor you. You have to do the homework and you have to ask. And when you ask, be prepared with the next step and the plan. Don’t ask someone to be a mentor for the rest of your life. Ask them to come along side you for 6 months or a year. Then if it blossoms into more, so be it. But, be sure to be clear on what you’re asking them to do for you and with you. Take some time to sit down and jot down some goals.
And, finally, remember that someday you will make a great mentor in the life of someone else. So, be ready and be that rare person that will actually approach someone and offer to be their mentor. You will be blessed by it and so will they!
Who’s mentoring you right now? What have you experienced because of this relationship? If you don’t have a mentor, who are 3 or 4 people who are doing it well in your industry that you could ask (don’t get discouraged if they say no, that’s why I say 3 or 4)?
Well, that’s it! All 10 of my thoughts on Leadership for the Rest of Us. What did you get out of this 4 part series? What questions still linger after reading these 10 items? I would love to discuss it here. Post your comments and questions below!