Why Confidence is Key to Leadership

When people consider what it takes to become a successful person, the first thing that comes to mind is confidence. After all, a person who believes in themselves is capable of jumping into projects, taking calculated risks, and most importantly, inspiring others to follow them. For as long as people have contemplated the power of high self-confidence, people have also been contemplating the potential pitfalls high self-confidence.

In 2012, the Harvard Business Review published an article and concluded that ultimately, less confident people are more successful than self-confident people. That same year, they published another article, again with the same conclusion that having self-confidence is not related to success. This might explain why Asian-Americans, who are reported to have among the lowest levels of self-esteem, tend to be such high achievers. However, while it may be true that having lower levels of self-esteem might result in more self-critical, hard-working employees, self-confidence is key to becoming a leader. In fact, there is a style of leadership, charismatic leadership, which focuses on a person’s ability to inspire others around them.

Here are 5 reasons why self-confidence is the key to good leadership.

1) Drive to Start Things

Self-confidence is key to a good leader because they believe enough in themselves to start a new project or idea. Even if people around them are unsure, or still thinking about the pros and cons, having self-confidence gets things into motion.

2) Self-Assured

Perhaps this goes hand in hand with self-confidence, but self-assuredness is another strength of self-confident people. They can handle tough questions and decisions required to lead, and can also deflect unfair comments or criticisms

3) Calm

Not only do they possess confidence and charisma, but self-confident people are also capable of maintaining their calm in high-stress situations. This inspires the people around them to remain calm as well and keeps them on track.

4) Accept their mistakes

The Harvard Business Review article states that a less-confident person is going to be more self-critical and therefore more open to criticism. However, a less self-confident person might focus too much on their mistakes, and be unable to move past them. On the other hand, a confident person knows that they are just human, and can, therefore, accept their mistakes and move past them.

5) Think for themselves

The important reason why self-confidence is critical for a successful leader is that such a person is capable of thinking for himself or herself. Self-confident people are self-starters and self-motivators, capable of achieving great things. They don’t wait for people to tell them what to do but act on their own ideas and goals. That’s what makes them great leaders.