When we think of great leadership, we often think of confidence and self-assurance. Now, a leader certainly should have confidence but, if that’s all they have, they are setting themselves up to fail. What a leader really needs is humility.
Failing in Confidence
One of the traps that really smart and confident leaders can fall into is believing that they know more than everyone else. Maybe on some level they do have more information than others, but this can often leave them in a position to rely too much on one perspective. Failure to lean into the insight of others due to over-confidence will eventually lead to major errors in decision making. A great leader will ultimately stand on the strength of the team as a whole and not on the strength of their own intellect. Just because you have more information than those on your team, doesn’t mean that you know EVERYTHING. You simply must be a listener and lead from a place of humility.
Avoiding the Trap of Over-Confidence
- Be a Listener – As I mentioned above, the strength of the leader rests on the strength of the team. The power of collective knowledge is much great than the knowledge of an individual. Listen to those who surround you and lean into their insight.
- Consider Alternatives – No matter how confident you feel, there is always a chance that you could be wrong. Don’t stand on the belief that your way is the only way to success. You certainly want to be confident about your plan, but consider alternatives incase there are factors that you didn’t expect. A plan B will come in handy more than you realize.
- Be Collaborative – Allow others on the team to help you. As your team or organization grows this becomes more and more important. You can’t do everything all the time. If you want to really win in the long run, you must empower others to get the job done.
All three of these elements require humility. Everyone will fail at one time or another and that includes you. Be confident, but also be humble. That is the way to truly win as a leader.