Think back to your favourite bosses, teachers or people of influence within your community. What was it about them that impressed you?
Different cultures value different personality traits, but studies suggest that the following qualities always inspire confidence:
- Being clear about what you mean: in a changing world, leaders may have to switch strategies which can confuse their teams. Let your overarching goal be seen so that integrity is clear, even when you need to adjust or change your tactics.
- Recognising that listening and agreeing are not the same thing: the leader who doesn’t listen is discouraging and the leader who doesn’t own their authority is totally frustrating. Be receptive to feedback, but please, when decisions need to be made, go ahead and make them!
- Holding yourself accountable: everybody makes mistakes and it creates needless tension if you fail to acknowledge yours or don’t make amends. We insult the intelligence of our people when we portray this pretence of perfection, creating a culture of fear and dishonesty where teams feel unable to openly admit to their mistakes.
- Being confident, but not arrogant: the antidote to over-confidence is openness. Others always have something to teach you, so be open to all that’s around you. Giving people permission to be human and keeping your promises shows an authentic nature.
- Following up and monitoring all that you’ve learned. Being a good leader means constantly improving things for everyone. Whether you’re heading up a department or speaking up for the team, make sure you keep inspiring them!