In one of the most memorable scenes from the classic film, The Wizard of Oz, the Cowardly Lion gives several examples of great courage, and then closes his dialogue with this famous question:
Cowardly Lion: “What have they got that I ain’t got?”
Dorothy, Scarecrow, & Tin Woodsman: “Courage!”
Cowardly Lion: “You can say that again!”
Leadership courage is sincerely lacking today. So many leaders are unwilling to act upon their convictions, to have the courage to do what they believe is right, for fear of retribution, public castigation, potential lawsuits, or any number of other reasons.
To have the courage it takes to be a leader of impact, you need a key component: confidence.
confidence n. faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
Here are three ways leaders grow confidence.
“This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours?” 2 Kings 18:19
3 Ways Leaders Grow Confidence
- Leaders grow confidence through competence. Leadership confidence is first built upon leadership competence. Without the skills to envision, engage, and execute, any leader will fall drastically short in acting on their convictions. It’s knowing that in the bottom of the 9th inning when your team needs you to get a hit, it’s the skills you have built over years of practice that give you the confidence to stand up and swing. Without competence, you possess false confidence. With competence, you possess true confidence.
- Leaders grow confidence through action. Hidden confidence is worthless. The more you act on your competence, the more your confidence will rise. Basketball legend Michael Jordan missed 26 game-winning shots in his NBA career, yet continued to have the confidence in his competence to keep shooting the shots. His confidence in his competence also inspired both his coach and his teammates to let him keep taking the final shots – even though he missed a few.
- Leaders grow confidence through consistency. Sporadic, occasional displays of confidence inspires no one – including yourself. Real confidence can only last through consistently acting upon your convictions. NFL coach Vince Lombardi once said that “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” When a leader regularly displays confidence, it inspires confidence in all those around them. When they don’t display confidence, neither does the team.
Integrate these three keys to growing your leadership confidence and watch your team grow theirs!