Women around the globe lack confidence.
The Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015, a joint effort of Development Dimensions International and The Conference Board investigated leadership readiness responses from 13,124 global leaders. The survey reveals “Female respondents were less likely to rate themselves as highly effective leaders.”
Chances are you too struggle with confidence. In order to succeed you must possess a feeling of self-assurance that derives from an internal appreciation of your abilities. Likely, you feel a lack of confidence because there is something you don’t have the power, skill, means or opportunity to do.
You must conquer inability. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do,” asserts First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in You Learn by Living. These five tips will help you heed Lady Eleanor’s directive while simultaneously strengthening your leadership capabilities.
Gain the Power
What is power?
Social scientists suggest there are two basic ways to perceive power. Positional power stems from your formal title or role. Remember your 8th grade English teacher? She or he was the leader of the class, or were they? If the power was held by a student who exhibited character traits held in high-esteem by your 8th grade class that is personal power. Personal power is granted to someone admired by the group. Aim for personal power in doing something you think you cannot do. Achieve personal power by being a values-driven leader. Demonstrate honesty, trustworthiness and reliability. People will naturally turn to you for guidance and direction. Forget your title; it doesn’t matter. Gain power by winning the respect of subordinates, the admiration of peers and the reverence of superiors.
Hone the Skill
What particular ability do you think you lack? Pick one.
Seek formal and guided instruction in order to accomplish something you think you cannot do. Yes, you are smart—but, even brilliant people can benefit from an informed and experienced teacher. Look for opportunities outside the office. You will discover deeper knowledge from interactive formats. Web-based learning is convenient but it cannot compete with the transformative instruction of face-to-face education. At the close of the 1-hour workshop, 3-day seminar, 7-week clinic or semester class make a plan to establish and maintain relationships with instructors and classmates. Don’t forget to revisit notes, re-read supplemental books and stay in the loop; keep up with new approaches.
Earn the Means
What’s your excuse?
Don’t let shortages of time or lack of money prevent you from doing what you think you cannot do. What are you daily doing with 1,440 minutes? Map it out. If you don’t have time; you must borrow it from someone or something. Make a commitment to learn for a designated period of time. Ask those impacted by your decision to support you. You won’t feel as guilty borrowing the time when you know others understand. If the obstacle is financial tighten up discretionary spending, consider part-time opportunities or ask your employer to aid with partial or full financial assistance. If needed, time isn’t all you may have to borrow.
Seize the Opportunity
Your boss may not give you the opportunity; give it to yourself. The office is merely one environment to learn to do something you think you cannot do. While you need practice to support your learning; there are many places to apply and strengthen your talent. Local nonprofit organizations are often looking for pro bono services. Charities need technical assistance and wise counsel; explore volunteer opportunities through your local alumni chapter, Parent-Teacher Association, library or place of worship.
Qualify the Imperfect
Do you feel a lack of confidence because you can’t do it or because you’ve yet to perfect it? You are an over-achieving embodiment of precision and flawlessness. Too often you disqualify the imperfect—particularly when it is found within you. Release the desire for personal and professional perfection. Lady Eleanor encouraged you to do the thing you think you cannot do. Don’t harshly judge how well you do it. If you are doing it, delight in the performance of the act and rest confidently in your abilities.
Tycely Williams, a Certified Fund Raising Executive, inspires teams as the Association Director of Major Gifts for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. She regularly and joyfully writes about leadership, volunteerism and charitable fundraising.
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