A word I can honestly say I rarely if ever hear in business is, self-confidence. I do hear it a lot when discussing entrepreneurs and start-ups, specifically when the discussion is about the founders, but what about everyone else? Why doesn’t the word self-confidence enter the business lexicon? It should.
Self-confidence is at the heart of performance. The decisions we make are driven by our confidence level. The decisions we DON’T make are influenced by our self-confidence. The impact of self-confidence sees no boundaries, from the board room to the mail room, the confidence people have in themselves impacts organizations.
Executives without it have frozen themselves and their company in its tracks, not moving when they should, not making the investments necessary, not removing the EVP who isn’t making their numbers, or not buying that start-up needed to penetrate new markets.
Sales people without it don’t make the cold calls, they don’t ask for the close, they don’t challenge the customer, they are uncomfortable making the customer uncomfortable, they struggle introducing new products. Sales people who lack self-confidence can not reach their potential.
Lack of self-confidence isn’t solely an executive or sales person challenge. It affects everyone. When people, therefore organizations, lack self-confidence innovation is stifled. People are afraid to suggest new ideas. They are afraid to try different things. They are uncomfortable asking for the extraordinary. When self-confidence is absent mistakes are made, opportunities are missed, innovation is stifled, and energy and excitement are diminished.
The best leaders I’ve worked for have made me feel I could take on the world. They’ve known how to make me feel confident in my decisions. The best leaders create environments that build confidence in its people.
Environments filled with fear, politics, fighting, bullying, indifference, unrealistic goals, and that are unaccepting of failure, breed lack of self-confidence.
How confident are you in your decisions? How confident are your direct reports? How confident is the CEO? They all need to be. Confidence is critical. Does your organization build confidence in its people? It should.
To build a good organization, start building confidence.