Leadership isn’t really all that complicated, it’s made complicated by a lack of understanding about what leadership really is.
Leadership is about transformation. It’s about getting people to move from one place to another, from state to another, and one way of working to another.
Leadership is about people. It’s about getting them to change their situation, their circumstance, their approach in order to achieve a desired outcome.
The easiest way to get people to change is to build confidence. Build confidence that the destination will be better than where they are now and build confidence in their ability to achieve that change.
Confident people thrive. They take risks. The achieve amazing results.
So as leaders we are in the confidence business. You should be focused on building confidence and belief in your teams.
Yet so many leaders take the opposite approach by criticizing, undermining or belittling their teams. I have seen this approach at every company I have been involved with, and have even been subjected to it myself.
All this does is lead to frustration, disappointment and disengagement.
It cost nothing to build the confidence of your teams, to build them up through praise, and by increasing their understanding.
I have said many times that People are not afraid of hard work they are afraid of failure.This comes from my experience of having created or been part of teams that have achieved amazing results all because they had confidence in their abilities, confidence in the approach and confidence in their leaders.
It’s confidence that gives them that spring in their step, that willingness to try a little harder and also to keep going when things get a little bumpy.
I first experienced this as a 10 year old when I played rugby. My team were not a great team, in fact we were the definition of average. In spite of that we made our way to the cup final where we were to play the team that had finished the season top of the league and who had beaten us 15-0 and 35-0 in the two games we had played with them that season.
But in the final, our coach focused on building confidence in each and every player. Giving us a plan that he said would definitely beat them, if we could just stick to it, and he gave us clear instructions on how to do that. We had confidence in him as we trusted him.
This is a powerful recipe and for us the result was we won 6-3.
We didn’t win because we were the better team, we won because we believed we were the better team because of the confidence that had been built within us by our coach.
This story is not unique, I have experienced it many times and have seen it over and over again in business and also in sports.
Confidence is key. It’s crucial and it’s often the crucial difference between success and failure.
If you want to improve performance, improve results or drive change then focus on building confidence.
It’s a low cost, high return strategy that delivers the best Leadership ROI.