Written by: Jennifer Sharp, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
So, what are some top traits that leaders possess?
Why are we inspired by them? What is the true essence of leadership?
There is one trait, I believe, that makes for strong leadership. That is confidence. Without it, what do you have? In business, you will self-sabotage at every opportunity. If you flail with a negative mindset, you will lack the self-confidence to lead you and your team.
Being confident in yourself as a leader enhances so much potential for you and your business growth.
Here are 7 tips that I’ve discovered on my journey that have enabled me to stand strong, grow, and be vulnerable all at the same time.
1. Push those boundaries.
Mistakes are good. You learn from them. If you are learning, you are growing. Be a trailblazer even when you are faced with fear. Go where no one else has. It’s okay to walk into the abyss. By taking risks and pushing through the boundaries, no matter the outcome, you will always gain from it. The only time you will fail is if you give up trying.
2. Let negativity drive you.
A negative can always turn positive. Think of those mistakes you made and what you learned from them. Admit to them, admit to what you learned and watch yourself gain a little more control each time. As this grows, so does your confidence in expressing yourself. Negative energy can turn positive if you channel it correctly. This is when you need to make a choice. Stay negative and self-sabotage or learn and grow and create beauty. The more people say to me, “you can’t do that,” the more I say, “watch me.”
3. Be an action taker.
If your self-esteem is low, you are more likely to self-sabotage, consequently taking no action. Do you ever see leaders in your field doing this? What makes them leaders is their drive and passion, and with this comes a high level of confidence. Taking action is taking risks, and to do this you need to be confident in yourself. Saying “I Can” rather than negate allows space for each small step of action to be taken. Each step is magic that leads to a result.
4. You don’t have to know it all.
And it’s okay to admit to it. When I first opened my business, there was so much I didn’t know, but this was only known by a few people close to me. I didn’t want to admit this to potential clients. I didn’t want to admit I had no idea what I was doing. Hello Imposter Syndrome! I felt like a fraud most of the time and didn’t want to admit to it. I struggled through on my own. But I soon learned that moving forward this way was so much harder. There is no place for ego in being a confident leader.
5. Observe everything.
Observe everything about your niche, your business, and those who have been in it longer than you. Learn. Use your eyes and ears, and voice to mentally and physically collect all the information you need to grow. Ask questions. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t jump to conclusions, and don’t compare. Good observers are even better listeners who learn to filter out what they don’t need and to act on the right information for them.
6. Know your vision – Short and Long Term.
If you are a confident leader, you know what each step taken will accomplish for each week, month, and year that passes. You will lose more and more of the ego, acquire more skills and grow as a person along with your business. Visualize success daily. Know what the best outcome is for you. Make your vision measurable. On those days when the negativity does creep in, and it does, use these measurements to remind yourself of how far you have come.
7. Emotional Intelligence goes a long way.
I admit that once upon a time, I saw red at almost everything that didn’t go right. As soon as I perceived something as going wrong, the ego would rise. I struggled to admit that maybe I was the one who was wrong or that I didn’t know. But by learning to take ownership of them, the big and the small, I continually grew. By taking a breath and letting go, accepting the situation as it was, then moving on, the path opens and flows more freely. Actions become clearer and stronger. I stopped withdrawing, and my self-esteem grew. When I learned to manage my emotions and switch the light from red to green, I could plan positive outcomes for myself and my business. With a positive mindset, I also had a confident one.
As a leader in my business, I haven’t always known the way or gone the whole way, but I’ve always tried to show the way. By doing. By taking action. By listening and learning. I’ve learned the way and have grown along with it. I am still learning, and I am still growing. I’ve learned to push the boundaries. And I still keep pushing. I’m not afraid to show my strengths. Some things I do really well; some things I do really poorly. I’m not afraid to admit this anymore nor show my vulnerabilities.
Do I know the way? No, but I’ve learned it's okay to step into the abyss. I don’t have to know everything.
Do I go the whole way? Yes, I give as much as I can each day, but with boundaries.
Do I show the way? Yes, daily action, no matter how small, gives great results.
Through these, I have learned to be confident in myself. I have given myself permission to hold a certain fierceness inside me, so when times get tough. I can sit back, reflect on my journey not only as a leader but in life itself, and acknowledge how far I have come.
Jennifer Sharp, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Jennifer Sharp is a leader in the publishing industry, having founded an award-winning publishing press. She has assisted many with telling their success stories globally, whether it be in business or life. She has created coaching and mentoring programs that develop the writer's confidence in themselves and strategies that help them stay confident within themselves in all areas of their lives authentically. She is the founder of Daisy Lane Publishing and Mindset Magic - Confidence Coaching. Jennifer is on a mission to support as many as she can with living their life fully with positive intentions and to assist them with publishing their story along the way. Jennifer is also passionate about children's picture books and poetry, bringing to life stories that deal with trauma, displacement, homelessness, separation, domestic violence, and language learning.