Being confident is another important trait of an effective leader. Confident people feel self-assured and believe they can accomplish their goals. Rather than feeling uncertain, they feel strong and secure about their positions. They do not second-guess themselves, but rather move forward on projects with a clear vision. Confident leaders feel a sense of certainty and believe that they are doing the right thing. Clearly, confidence is a trait that has to do with feeling positive about oneself and one’s ability to succeed.

If confidence is a central trait of successful leaders, how can you build your own confidence? First, confidence comes from understanding what is required of you. For example, when first learning to drive a car, a student is low in confidence because they do not know what to do. If an instructor explains the driving process and demonstrates how to drive, the student can gain confidence because they now have an understanding of how to drive. Awareness and understanding build confidence. Confidence can also come from having a mentor to show the way and provide constructive feedback. This mentor may be a boss, an experienced coworker, or a significant other from outside the organization. Because mentors act as role models and sounding boards, they provide essential help to learn the dynamics of leadership.

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Confidence also comes from practice. This is important to point out, because practice is something everyone can do. Consider Michael Phelps, one of the most well-known athletes in the world today. Phelps is a very gifted swimmer, with 23 Olympic gold medals and the record for winning the most medals, 28, of any Olympic athlete in history. But Phelps also spends an enormous amount of time practicing. His workout regimen includes swimming six hours a day, six days a week. His excellent performance and confidence are a result of his practice, as well as his gifts.


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