How To Build Confidence As A Leader


A woman gets promoted from the floor to become the head of a department. She is new to this role, and is worried about how to be effective as she steps into her dream job.

Another person gets transferred in his current capacity, but in a different region of the country. He is concerned that he is the outsider trying to break into the team.

Both individuals in these examples display a shortfall of confidence. Whether a new or seasoned leader, our confidence may be tested due to the uncertainty of how we’ll handle or perform in a new situation. So how does a leader build up their confidence in order to positively influence and inspire others?

Some observations:

  • Get to know everyone. Find out your team and business colleague’s work history, lives, dreams. This takes the focus off of you and helps you understand what their needs are so you can better meet them.
  • Study and learn. Take your time to find out as much as you can about people, processes, and philosophy of your company. This will help you know more about the culture and business direction as it pertains to your new role. This will lend itself to you having a greater understanding on which to make simple and effective decisions.
  • Start with small victories. An extension of the previous point, take what you know and grab that low-hanging fruit. Most of these victories are initiatives that build your credibility and engender trust among your team. Those small wins will quickly boost how you see yourself in your new role.
  • Be a conduit of information. By learning and asking questions, and learning some more, you can pass on the vision, the “Why”, the rationale, and the energy to everyone around you. You will make an impact as one who “gets it” and people will come to you to inquire about your knowledge.
  • Don’t sweat your mistakes. Probably one of the greatest worries of a new leader is how any mistake will look. Fear of making an error will lead to more errors. Having a right perspective and transparent attitude, and chalk it up to those “teachable moments” that are vital to you becoming more effective will go a long way towards belief in your ability to lead.
  • Remind yourself why you are where you are. Your boss promoted you for a reason, so take stock in the fact that your skills are recognized. Look to those outside of yourself that validate your ability to lead.

It’s all about having the right perspective and channeling your energies into growing and learning. Make your focus about influencing your people and company and less about yourself. Others are counting on you; now go make a difference!!



About Paul LaRue

My goal - To encourage you to lead & influence others with positive impact.

Posted on November.11.2014, in Leadership. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Paul, This is an excellent list. As a new leader it’s so important begin with confident humility, which can be tough when you’re scared. Following your list here will surely help. Great post!


  2. Paul, What an excellent list. It’s so important for new leaders to begin with humble confidence, which can be very hard when your nervous or scared. Your list goes a long way here in building both confidence and approaching the new scene with confidence and respect. Love it.


  3. When I was Y I used to tell myself that there was nothing teachers could assign me that I couldn’t do. It’s similar at work, except that if I am assigned something I cannot do, there is a problem with the system & I should communicate with leadership here. But for the most part, I am always able to do what I am asked (and volunteer) to do. And self-talk is an important component of this. I like your list and how it helps me remember that leadership is also about growth.


  1. Pingback: Let's Grow Leaders | Inspired Leaders, Confident Humility, & Breakthrough Results | Leaders Share about Confidence: A Frontline Festival

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