The Most Important Thing A Leader Can Give

The Most Important Thing A Leader Can Give

John Eades 28/08/2019 6

I monitored from afar for a few weeks. Watching how employees worked; communicated; engaged with clients; how they used their time. I had just inherited team members who were over qualified for the positions they held. But for some reason, their work output wasn’t moving the needle. The business was made up of individuals whose talents were stifled by the lack of a leader to guide them in their professional development.

One person stood out. She was smart, hard working, talented, had a tremendous sense of humor and was a great team player. I knew I had something special on my hands, except something was missing. That “something” I picked up from speaker Peter Docker:

 "If we want to be seen differently in the world it starts with how we view ourselves."

She was missing the belief in herself, better known as confidence. I knew that in order for her to truly reach her potential professionally, and become more strategic to our organization, this had to change. As I searched for what I could do to help make this a reality, I came across a quote by Harvey Firestone, (American Businessman and founder of Firestone tires):

 “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.”  

With Harvey’s wisdom fresh in my mind, I went to work on developing her confidence. I came up with a plan and put these 5 confidence-building strategies into place:

  1. Give More, Not Less: Most managers who see people struggling with their confidence remove or subtract tasks or responsibilities. This is wrong. By giving people more responsibility and duties, it forces them out of their comfort zone and allows them to gain confidence. They achieve things they never previously accomplished or thought they could accomplish.

  2. Stretch Their Thinking: I love sending my team examples of the successful work of others in our field. It gets them thinking about ways to do their job better or more efficiently. Once they are successfully able to execute these new ideas, they are more confident in the work they do and the business gets a better product.

  3. Be a Positives Influence: I am a huge believer that the people you surround yourself with influence how you feel about yourself. Work to build others up, be 100% honest, and make good decisions both personally and professionally. It’s all about leading by example and being a positive influence every single day.

  4. Celebrate Successes: Celebrating successes early and often is the easiest thing to do on this list, but it’s the least executed. It can be as simple as saying “great job” or as big as creating a visual reminder for individuals to keep on their desk. They are beacons of light or “bright spots” that can keep confidence high even on days that are a struggle. I have found celebrating personal success can often be the low hanging fruit to ensuring that confidence is built every single day.

  5. Give Authority: One of my mentors always told me " delegate authority, not tasks" Authority is much different than tasks and authority can come in many different forms;   By giving any type of authority to individuals, an instant transfer of confidence takes place because you are showing someone you believe in them. This can be as simple as telling them a decision is theirs to make and you will stand behind them no matter what. 

I am happy to report that this same individual can now see the potential I saw in her from the start. She is thriving and has become an integral part of our businesses success. Remember, increasing confidence in people goes well beyond short term business gains it improves the lives of people.  Try putting these 5 confidence-building strategies into place to improve the performance of a member of your team.

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  • Neil Hayes

    Can't wrap my mind around the fact that this is free.

  • Rob Dunigan

    Stressing is pointless. It gets nothing done.

  • Gilla Malmborg

    We don't need followers, even leaders need help. We all need reminders, upgrades, etc

  • David Milsom

    New paradigm is cooperating together, appreciation, showing up for and with each other

  • Francesca Brown

    Damn, so much value in one article

  • Michel Hamilton

    You are inspirational

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John Eades

Leadership Expert

John is the CEO of LearnLoft, author of, F.M.L. Standing Out & Being a Leader and host of the 'Follow My Lead' Podcast. He writes or has been featured on, LinkedIn Pulse,,, CNBC Money, and more. John completed his education at the University of Maryland College. 

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