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3 Essentials for Becoming a More Confident Leader (Part One)

This is part one in a series on Becoming a More Confident Leader.
Read part two.

Would you like to be more confident as a leader?

In my work as a leadership coach, a leadership educator, and a scholar of leadership studies, as well as my own journey as an entrepreneur and educational leader, I’ve found three action steps that improve confidence for both myself and those I coach/instruct. 

3 Essentials for Becoming a More Confident Leader

First, maximize your strengths.

This step is foundational: know and make the most of your leadership strengths.

Your individual strengths are a solid base from which to operate. For example: I’m bookish, creative, and strategic. When I work in roles that demand those same traits, I feel energized and I make strong contributions to the organization.

Know and make the most of your leadership strengths. Click To Tweet

On the other hand, when I’m in a role that prioritizes strengths other than these, no matter how much I may believe in the mission of the organization, I find myself prone to frustration, easily tired and discouraged because I don’t feel like I’m making a significant contribution.

Second, address your liabilities.

We all have weaknesses. It’s part of the human experience. The difference between a “weakness” and a “liability” is that our liabilities hurt us, while weaknesses are simply less than ideal parts of our lives.

Weakness vs liability: liabilities hurt us, weaknesses are simply less ideal parts of our lives. Click To Tweet

Here’s another personal example: I’ve always struggled with math – it’s a weakness for me. However, since I’m not an engineer my math deficiency is only a weakness, as long as I can do enough math to make sure our family doesn’t spend more money than we have.

Third, make peace with your weaknesses.

Once again, being human includes having parts of our lives that are less than ideal. In fact, some parts of our lives are downright “broken.”

What I’ve noted in my own life, as well as the lives of the leaders I coach, is that our frustration/anger with that brokenness can easily rob us of joy. Even worse, our self-inflicted anger can easily spill out onto innocent bystanders – especially family, friends, and co-workers. To the extent that we can make peace with our non-liability weaknesses, we can gift ourselves with greater life satisfaction, and be less discouraging to our family, friends, and co-workers.

In part two of this series, we will discuss specific techniques for accomplishing these three steps.

Where have you experienced success in maximizing your strengths, addressing your liabilities, and making peace with your weaknesses? Please tell us in the comments below.

Stan Ward

Stan Ward

Dr. Stanley J. Ward is the Dean of Capstone Studies at Claremont Lincoln University, where he continues to develop CLU's unique action research model for mindfulness, dialogue, and collaboration that lead to values-based change. As dean, he also supervises graduate student action research projects in ethical leadership, social impact, and interfaith action.

Outside of academia, he is a certified 360 feedback facilitator through the Center for Creative Leadership and a certified change management practitioner through Prosci. In 2014, he founded Influence Coaching, LLC (www.coachingforinfluence.com) to provide individual and small group coaching resources that help leaders maximize their strengths, correct their liabilities, and make peace with their weaknesses, all while developing others in their organizations.
 
Dr. Ward holds a PhD in Leadership Studies, thinks fountain pens are cool, and jams on the ukulele with his family.

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Stan Ward

Stan Ward

Dr. Stanley J. Ward is the Dean of Capstone Studies at Claremont Lincoln University, where he continues to develop CLU's unique action research model for mindfulness, dialogue, and collaboration that lead to values-based change. As dean, he also supervises graduate student action research projects in ethical leadership, social impact, and interfaith action.

Outside of academia, he is a certified 360 feedback facilitator through the Center for Creative Leadership and a certified change management practitioner through Prosci. In 2014, he founded Influence Coaching, LLC (www.coachingforinfluence.com) to provide individual and small group coaching resources that help leaders maximize their strengths, correct their liabilities, and make peace with their weaknesses, all while developing others in their organizations.
 
Dr. Ward holds a PhD in Leadership Studies, thinks fountain pens are cool, and jams on the ukulele with his family.