Upcoming leaders struggle with confidence. It is one of the things that stops them dead in their tracks, has them stutter, second-guess themselves and make bad judgments. I know, I was there, lacking confidence often. How do you overcome it? How does a leader feel into confidence that may not be there or be hidden beneath the fear and worry? One answer might be to become superman, if only for two minutes.
As an upcoming leader I was sure that everyone around me, including my subordinates were smarter than me. I figured that others had more education and experience and thus had a jump on me. People at meetings seemed more worldly, savvy, funnier and connected and as such I felt, well honestly, a little bit like a hillbilly from the north! I knew I wasn’t the boss’s “favorite” and so I had to work harder to prove myself. Was there truth to any of this? Some of it yes was true. Camping in the Boreal Forest is far more my style than backpacking across Europe. A lot of it however was not true. It was made up in my head. I was, and am, well educated, smart, I have a playful side and I am very well connected. I now know my own self-assessment counts more than whether I am someone’s favorite.
At the time all of my insecurities had me doubt and question my abilities as a leader. In spite of that, I plowed ahead. I tried. I worked hard. I put myself out there. The more I did, the more successful I became, the more I accomplished and the more confident I felt. With that confidence came more. More competence, more opportunities, more successes and more acceptance of my strengths and myself. It appears, I needed to fake it til I made it. I needed to act, appear and come across as confident, to my employees, my colleagues, my world, but ultimately to myself. Faking it was really about harnessing that inner knowing. I had to connect to that part of me that knew I was smart, knowledgeable, capable and able.
Looking back, one of the turning points for me in my confidence as a leader was when I started working out. As my body became stronger, I stood taller. Gaining abdominal muscles will do that for you! I was discovering my confidence was increasing! Now as I research what makes a great leader, I discovered the science behind what was happening for me many years ago. Watching the body posture of others will tell you a lot about them, but how you hold your own body will speak volumes to you. Amy Cuddy, Social Psychologist at Harvard Business School, presented her research findings in this inspiring Ted Talk about the power of body language in our own confidence.
Cuddy suggests assuming a power position (think superman or superwoman) for two minutes in private, like your office or in the bathroom before heading into a meeting or onto a conference call will boost your self-confidence. It is similar to how animals make themselves appear larger than they are when they are confronted with danger. By making ourselves bigger and assuming a power position such as sitting up tall and taking up space or spreading your wings, has the effect of releasing a positive hormones that help with confidence.
So next time you are lacking confidence, stand up, take up some space and let those positive confidence hormones flow. The hormones that say, “I can do this”, “I am capable” and “Look out world! Here me Roar!”
Kathy Archer, 780-332-1777
Cindy Millar, 780-618-2690
International Coaching Week
Coaching Supports the Development of Great Leaders
Peace Country – Two local Coaches offer support to Leaders in the Peace Country through support, training and individual Coaching.
I know that Great Leaders are grown from the inside out. Great Leaders take time to learn about who they are, what they stand for and what they believe in. They are curious about how their leadership style impacts others and want to know how they can have the most positive effect on their teams and in their work. Coaching is a great place to start both this internal look at self and to increase a Leader’s awareness of their impact on the world around them.
Kathy Archer, Leadership Coach, Silver River Coaching
Organizations are only as strong as the people at the top. In today’s fast-paced, ever-changing world, leaders need to set the pace and direction for success. Leaders grow other leaders by investing in themselves and their staff. By becoming a leader that others want to follow, everyone wins! One way to achieve this success for the leader, the staff and the organization is through coaching. It really can make a positive difference!
Cindy Millar Chief People Officer, Caisse Horizon Credit Union
Leadership is a passion for both of us. We believe strongly that Leaders become Great Leaders by growing themselves. They never stop bringing in new information, learning, applying it to themselves and evaluating the results and then doing it all over again. Great Leaders realize that they are the ones who set the tone in an organization and as such need to be on top of their game.
There are two key ways to grow. First, learn more. Take training, read or attend sessions. With the variety of learning modes these days, where we live no longer is a valid reason to not continue with training. A second great way to grow is through Coaching. A coach helps you to look at taking in all you know and applying it or figuring out why it is that you struggle so hard to apply it. Coaching grows leader exponentially!
In honor of National Coaching Week May 20 - 26, and to assist with your learning and growing your two local ICF Certified Coaches have put together a list of 12 of our favorite Leadership books:
We hope you have the opportunity to pick up one or two and apply them to your own Leadership. The Peace River Municipal Library has agreed to look into purchasing some of these books so that they are available to everyone. And if you ever want to talk about what you’ve learned in them, feel free to reach out to either of us for a conversation. We love to talk more about developing leadership.
The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with over 20,000 members in more than 100 countries and more than 9,000 credentialed coaches worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches. Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring, or training. ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. For more information, please visit our website at www.coachfederation.org.
I believe leaders are grown not born. I believe it is the responsibility of organizations to grow individuals on their teams to become great leaders. And, I don’t think that doing is necessarily easy!
I started a LinkedIn group called Emerging Leaders of Alberta Organizations to have discussions with organizations around Alberta on the challenges and successes in growing great leaders. Leaders who lead their teams through change and growth to provide better services for their clients and the people they serve. Leaders who inspire their team and lead with integrity and determination.
Currently many organizations are facing the imminent retirement of their senior leaders and are not sure where the next leader will come from. While there are some key people within the organization that may have been identified, those people are not sure they want to step into the 70+ hours/week responsibility of running an organization. If these people do not move up, the organizations are left with the challenge of recruiting outside the agency, which can have challenges as well.
By organizations, I mean non-profits, private agencies and volunteer organizations and probably many more. And by emerging leaders, I mean individuals in organizations who have the desire or potential to step into leadership positions or who already are in junior leadership positions and who may see a continued path of leadership in front of them.
Here are some of the things I am wondering and thinking about:
I am curious also as a coach, where mentoring and coaching might benefit emerging leaders. Do current leaders have the skills, desire and time to commit to that? What does it look like? And do agencies have the resources, curiosity and interest to try that? For agencies that are already trying, how is it working?
So many questions and I know that many organizations are finding some answers. They are, despite cutbacks and shortages of resources finding leaders to step up to the plate. I want to hear more about their successes.
I believe conversation is one of the best starting points to overcoming challenges. I have been a part of these conversations already and feel the urgency among those to address the leadership crisis that is appearing in our province.
What do you think? Is there a leadership crisis? Why or why not? What can we do about it or what is already being done to address it?
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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