Personal Development

5 Ways Leaders Demonstrate Self-confidence

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Become the kind of leader that people would follow voluntarily; even if you had no title or position."      ~ Brian Tracy

While there are many factors that go into making leaders successful, self-confidence is one of the most important.  Followers will have no confidence in a leader that shows a lack of confidence in themselves.  Those around them will quickly pick up their leaders self-confidence by how they interact with them, others and by how they conduct themselves with others in stressful and difficult situations.  If those who report to a leader perceive them as lacking in self-confidence, they will lose respect and faith.

Show a high degree of emotional intelligence

Confident leaders are able to manage their emotions and don't let their emotions override their intellect.  They never react from a place of anger and frustration, but wait until they are firmly in control and can think through to an effective response with a person or in a situation.  If they are witnessed losing control of their cool, leaders will quickly lose the confidence of those around them.

Be open to and not threatened by ideas different than their own

Bill Gates said, "It makes no sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do."
Leaders who are sure of themselves do not feel threatened by those that disagree with them and have different ideas and ways of doing things.  Their egos are firmly in check and they understand and accept that more and diverse ideas will result in better decisions.  They do not take others disagreeing with them personally or a repudiation of their self-worth as people.

Put the success of their people and organization first

Self-confident people see themselves first and foremost as servants to the people and the organization that they work for.  They view their success not in terms of their own advancement, but rather how much success those they work with and the organization achieves.

Treat everyone with respect regardless of position

Leaders who are self-confident don't feel the need to go out of their way to impress their superiors and do not feel the need to show their importance to those at the bottom rungs of the organization.  They recognize the value and respect the dignity of all people regardless of the role they are performing.  Those who have faith in their own ability do not feel the need to put others down to make themselves look good.

Don't have the need to advertise the importance of their official title

Leaders who are sure of themselves tend to be quite low key when it comes to their official title to let others know their importance.  They prefer to let their actions and treatment of those around them speak for itself.  Their preference is to inspire and motivate others to action from their vision and personal example, rather than to use the power inherent in their positions to dominate those under them.

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About the author

Harvey Deutschendorf

Harvey Deutschendorf is an emotional intelligence expert, internationally published author and speaker. To take the EI Quiz go to His book THE OTHER KIND OF SMART, Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence for Greater Personal Effectiveness and Success has been published in 4 languages. Harvey writes for FAST COMPANY and has a monthly column with HRPROFESSIONALS MAGAZINE. You can follow him on Twitter @theeiguy