Where does confidence come from? Is it natural to us from birth or is it a learned attribute?
In my life, I’ve learned confidence forms from a series of successes and failures, and how I reflected on each. It formed from strong mentors and familial figures supporting me both in times of strength and in times of weakness. Confidence is a validation of sorts that can be interpreted a variety of ways. What is your role and how confident are you? I have studied great leaders and several stories come to mind.
Vince Lombardi, legendary NFL coach, was hired by the Green Bay Packers in 1958. The team he inherited had one win, one tie, and ten losses the previous season. It was the worst won-loss record in the history of the storied franchise. In 1959, the achievement was significantly better. Seven wins. In the 1960 season, they won the NFL Western Conference Championship and by 1961, they were NFL Champions. These were largely comprised of the same players. Wow! How did Lombardi manage to get this team to the level of success that his predecessor could not?
Look at Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric. During his time as a leader, the value of the company increased by 4000%. 4000%?
Peter Drucker, once hailed as “the man who invented management”, says this is all based on a single decision: The decision to be a leader.
Leaders succeed in one way – They understand who you surround yourself with matters.
I’ve studied many successful entities in my research to better my own organization. I’ve found one congruent and relevant piece of information. In each instance, there was no one pioneering individual that became successful strictly by their own actions. Rather, it was the guidance and encouragement of others that led to the growth and confidence to repeat the success. Whether you are Napolean Hill, Peter Drucker or Kelly Hager, the studies show the same result. Working through the strengths of others and staying in your own lane with minimal crossover leads to the greatest levels of success. True leaders know this, embrace this, and embody this in their cultures.
Here are the top 5 qualities great leaders possess:
- They are willing to listen, communicate, and collaborate with the best intentions.
- They know the job, role and business inside and out, then lead with passion.
- They are the example in good times and bad. It’s not what they say in trying moments, but the attitude they have in them.
- They create a vision that transcends to each member of the team.
- They have the ability to identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses, and creating coaching moments for each.
In 1959, in the final game of the season, the Green Bay Packers were one play away from advancing to the conference championship. On the last play of the game, they failed to gain the yardage needed to win. After the game, Lombardi told his players, “This will never happen again. You will never lose another championship game again.” Leadership like that does not go unnoticed. Lombardi ended his coaching career with 151 postseason victories, a .740 postseason winning percentage and never suffered a losing season.