Monday, January 25, 2010

Confidence... Key to Success

"Confidence is Contagious; so is the lack of confidence."
~ Vince Lombardi

Strong leaders always have confidence. Without confidence in yourself and the ability you have within yourself to achieve your goal or vision, you will struggle and never grasp the desired result you are striving to reach. It just won't happen. Confidence gives us strength and perseverance when obstacles come out way. If we are confident that we will achieve our goal then nothing stops us from trying. But if we're not confident in ourselves and our ability's, then others won't be either. Confidence is contagious... just as Vince Lombardi says. But the opposite is also true. The lack of confidence is just as contagious.

I think it's safe to say that none of us as leaders can achieve our goals without followers, right? We can't do it alone. After all, what's a leader without followers? Definitely not a leader. But as we lead others they will catch our enthusiasm and excitement that we show towards the goal. They will also pick up very quickly if we are confident or not in our ability to be successful. There is nothing worse than a leader that has a plan but lacks the confidence to lead the team to make it happen. That team will never reach the goal because it's doomed from the very start through the lack of confidence in the leader. The plan will only be executed to the level of commitment and confidence of the leader.

If I know you can win, and I say I know you can win, then I show you how to win, then you will win because you have confidence in yourself to do what it takes to win. It all started however with the leader. Often people don't realize they can win. They don't know how to win. They lack confidence in themselves. They don't realize their capabilities. But the leader see all that. The leader sees the end result. The leader sees the future of where we can be, rather than where we are. The leader always has the vision to see the steps and it's our job as the leader to show the way and help others get there. Confidence is the key. I'm not talking about being arrogant. Leaders that are arrogant just promote themselves. Leaders that are confident in themselves as leaders know that the team has to win... not just the leader. Without the team the leader can't win, so the leader has to show not only confidence in him or herself, but must have confidence in the team as well. When this happens, confidence becomes contagious. As people see goals being achieved they become more and more confident in their leader and even more importantly in their own abilities to succeed. There is nothing a confident team can't do when being being lead with a confident leader.

The word confident means that we believe it to be true. When you look up the word in the dictionary you see this.
1. Full Trust
2. Assurance

As you can see... when you as a leader have confidence you emit trust and assurance to your people and your desired goal. The key to achieving any goal is to know that you can do it. If you don't believe you can achieve it... then no one else will either.
"With confidence, you can reach truly amazing heights; without confidence, even the simplest accomplishments are beyond your grasp."
~ Jim Loehr

How do you become confident in yourself and your abilities? Well I think it's important to understand why we lack confidence first. Why do we lack confidence?
1. We've failed in the past
2. We don't know what to do
3. We're told we can't do it
4. We can't see the end result

Bottom line is this... Everyone fails. You don't hit a home run everytime you step up to bat do you? Of course not. But with enough practice you get better and soon you begin to hit the ball once in a while. Eventually you get good enough to hit some home runs once in a while and if you really stay at it, you might even break some records. But remember... the whole process was full of failures (lot's of strike outs along the way) So confidence comes when we stay the course and make a commitment to do our best and know that we can get better and we can over come our failures.
If we don't know what to do then there is a course of action that can take to fix that. Study... learn how to perfrom the tasks neccessary to achieve your goal. Analyze what's going on and work up a plan to move the needle in the desired direction you want to go. Many leaders are not sure what to do, but through a good study of the problem, you can develop a plan to overcome it. Confidence comes when you've done your homework.

Everyone of us has been told told... "It can't be done." Or, "That's not possible." Or, "That's not a good idea." The secret is to believe in yourself and your team. Don't let others destroy your vision or your passion. They are simply saying how they believe. They belive it can't be done, they believe it's not possible. But they are not you. It really only matters what you believe is possible and what you believe you can lead your team to accomplish. Confidence comes when you truly believe in yourself. "I can do this!" "I know I can."

Finally... seeing the end result simply means that you can see where you can take this dream of yours. You can see how things can be rather than how they are. You might not see the total end result and that's ok. But you have to be able to see that it can be better than it is right now and you have to want it. How many times have you seen an interview on TV where someone is being asked, "Did you ever think you would be this successful." Most will say, "I always thought I could do it, but never dreamed it would be this big." In otherwords... they had the dream, they had the confidence, but the end result was bigger and greater than they ever dreamed it would be. The secret to their success, was that they had confidence in their ability to reach their dream. They went for it and it turned out far greater than imagined. Remember, we don't always sees the end result... that's ok. The goal is to see the next few steps to making it better and working the process to get there. The end result is what it is. Don't cap it off to your limited vision. Let it become more than you can imagine it can be and set goals and steps to reach as you head toward an ever changing vision as it develops and grows.
Confidence as seen by William Hazlitt ~ "As is our confidence, so is our capacity."

Your confidence begins with your right mental attitude. Start believing in yourself and do whatever it takes to instill passion into yourself and your people. Watch out! There is no limit to your success with Confidence.

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