As an entrepreneur and someone who is driven to be their own boss, you should strive to develop a team that you can trust. Confident leaders tend to have confident teams. By contrast, leaders who are tentative or unsure may cause team members to be unsure and tentative in their work. The good news is that confident leadership is a skill you can develop. These tips will help.
1. Volunteer for Leadership Positions
Before you dive into the business you’re creating, practice your leadership skills by doing volunteer work. Leading people who don't have a financial stake in the quality of their work can be a big challenge, but it is a great way to learn responsibility vs accountability while doing something good for your community in a lower-risk environment.
2. Solicit Feedback
Continuous feedback is critical for improving your leadership skills and building your company. Without feedback, it is difficult to judge how well you are doing. Regularly ask the stakeholders in whatever projects you are working on how they think you are doing and what they think you could do better. This not only provides you with valuable input but lets your team know that you care about their opinion, which will help them feel more confident about your leadership.
3. Don't Be a Perfectionist
Good leaders need to be willing to make mistakes. You shouldn't be reckless, but don't be afraid to take risks. Push yourself and your team. If you make a mistake, own up to it and use it as a learning opportunity, rather than beating yourself or your team up for it. Employees who constantly fear that they will face punishment for making mistakes will not trust you. You want your employees to feel like they can tell you when they have made a mistake and to encourage this you need to be willing to admit your own missteps.
4. Don't Compare Yourself to Others
Much like everyone's home life looks better on social media than it actually is in real life, the accomplishments of other leaders can make you feel needlessly worse about your own performance in comparison. Instead of comparing your achievements to your peers, network with them. Find out about their struggles and pick their brains about how they overcame them. Talk to them about their wins and their losses. You will get a much more realistic picture of their career that way.
5. Practice Your Listening Skills
Listening to the people you manage is one of the most important parts of building trust. If your team feels like you are always talking over them, they aren't likely to respect you or be motivated to work hard for you.
6. Don't Micromanage
One of the worst things you can do as a leader is trying to control every aspect of what your team does. You don't need to know everything that is going on. Trust your team. Keep checking in to see how projects are going, field any questions and make corrections where needed. However, don't constantly give your employees instruction on every little task. If your employees don't feel like you trust them, they probably won't trust you either.
As someone who can be their own boss, it’s okay to step back and let your managers and other employees take charge of projects. As long as you build a trustworthy and hardworking team, this shouldn’t be a problem. The best part of being an entrepreneur is time and money freedom. If possible, you should work hard to find people who will build your business and then take time to relax and lead from a distance.
7. Do What You Know
Trying to step into a leadership role where you don't have the experience and expertise to lead is bound to stress you and your team out. You will be more confident when you accept leadership roles that utilize your knowledge and experience. If you want to branch out into a new industry or new area of your current industry, gain some experience as a team member before looking for leadership roles.
8. Keep Your Expectations Realistic
If you expect too much out of yourself or your team, you are bound to be disappointed and your confidence will take a hit. Make sure any goals you set are challenging but attainable. Overly ambitious goals may demotivate both you and your team.
9. Remember You Were Chosen for a Reason
You weren't given your leadership role on a whim. There were likely many other candidates vying for the job, but you were the one chosen. This means that your bosses believe in you and want you to succeed. If they believe in you, then you should believe in yourself.
10. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Knowing what you're good at will help your confidence. Recognizing where you can use improvement will help you focus your improvement efforts.
11. Ask for Help
The best leaders know both what they do and do not know. Don't try to pretend you know the answers when you don't. Ask for help when you need it. Recognize that using the talents and knowledge of the team around you is part of being a good leader and not a threat to your position. Leaders who ask questions are usually viewed as more confident than those who don't.
Being a good leader is a difficult job. The best leaders are always evaluating what they are doing well and what they need to improve. These tips can help you best utilize your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.