Not “The Arrogant or the Wimpy Leader”
Is it possible to be confident and humble at the same time? If you equate confidence with arrogance and humility with uncertainty then you would probably say, “no”.
What is Confidence?
One of Webster’s definitions of confidence is, “faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way” . That describes the kind of confidence we want to have in our leaders and want others to have in us as leaders. If we take another of Webster’s definitions, “a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances” , that sounds like self-confidence that could be good or bad depending on how we use it.
Let me suggest a tweak to that second definition that I believe better describes the self-confidence of a healthy leader: “a feeling or consciousness of our team’s powers or of reliance on our team’s ability to navigate the circumstances”. Continue reading The Confidence of a Humble Leader
…Or Just a Learner?
I wonder if anyone has ever answered “no” when asked if they were teachable. “No, I’m done being taught – I already know everything I need.” Makes for a good chuckle, but we wouldn’t really admit to thinking that.
We couldn’t completely stop learning if we wanted to. Our five senses are constantly feeding new information to our brain. But the question, “Am I learning?” is different than, “Am I teachable?”
Learning can be passive, happening to us pretty much by accident. Or our curiosity may drive us to experimentation that we learn from. But the idea of being teachable implies being in a state where we welcome insights from others.
Continue reading Am I Teachable?
What Happens When a Leader Speaks
One of the benefits of being a leader is that we have the privilege – and responsibility – of influencing others. When we speak, our followers listen.
But what do they hear?
Often way more than we intended to say. Continue reading Whispering Through a Bullhorn
When “Just Do It” Isn’t Enough
Leaders tend to be smart people. That’s the problem. With an abundance of our own good ideas and answers, it’s hard to give others a meaningful role in our endeavors.
Our education-rich culture leads us to expect followers to flock to us if we simply reveal our wisdom. Sometimes short-term evidence affirms that idea. People get excited by our vision and imagine themselves in the picture. But eventually their energy wanes as they realize our vision lacks room for their ideas.
Continue reading Compliance vs. Commitment