I have the privilege of being part of the entrepreneurs Strategic Coach program with Dan Sullivan. I travel to Toronto every 90 days with around 50 other entrepreneurs from all over the world. We attend two days of workshops that really focus on us working on ourselves and our businesses. Even though it takes around 30 hours of travel time each way, it is well worth it for the insights and clarity I gain from these workshops with like-minded people.
At one of the recent workshops, there was a concept presented around the importance of building and maintaining your confidence as a business owner and as a leader. The conversation centered around the importance of your environment and habits in ensuring you look for every opportunity to build and maintain your confidence. The discussion then focussed on the importance of self-care and the realisation that you cannot be an effective leader and business owner if you don’t look after yourself.
This insight is very relevant in the coaching I undertake with Senior Executives in organisations, projects and teams. They tend to put others first and focus heavily on how they are leading others without putting the time, effort and care in to themselves. This tends to be something that sneaks up on them and it hits home when something goes wrong with their health, personal life, key relationships or other aspects of their lives.
When you are a leader, you cannot separate personal from professional. How things are travelling outside of work have a direct impact on your mood, attitude, mindset and enjoyment of your work. You bring this to work and the people and environments you lead. This realisation is important if you want to be a long term sustainable, successful and constructive leader who also is able to juggle the other important parts of your life with what is generally a demanding leadership role.
To do this effectively, you must maintain and build your personal confidence. You start this by identifying your habits that build your confidence in all aspects of your life. This can include the way you plan your days, how your play to your strengths, how you build a strong team around you, through to how much sleep you get and how you eat and exercise. You work through the habits and practices that build your confidence and review monthly how you are tracking against them. This enables you to identify where you could put more focus in the next month to build your confidence.
This one practice makes a significant difference to your ability to build confidence as a leader and a business owner. Confidence is what your team, project and organisation feed off from a leader. You set the tone through your confidence as well as ensuring you bring your best self to your work. The analogy I would use is that of a machine that is in production. It is producing widgets, bottles, gadgets and other items every day of the week. In order for the machine to continue to run effectively, it needs parts replaced, regular services and upgrades. The machine is taken out of production to do this so that the machine can continue to operate effectively. Leaders need to think about this concept around themselves and their role. Am I taking out time to rejuvenate? Am I sharpening the saw? Am I slowing down to enjoy the journey?
To help you get started on your own confidence checklist, I have put a link below to the one I use monthly with thanks from Strategic Coach. It allows me to reflect monthly but also work with clients I coach to ensure they “place the oxygen mask on themselves first”. We are no good to anyone as leaders if our confidence and subsequently other aspects like health and relationships suffer. Take the time to assess your confidence every month. It will enable you to assess where you are at and what small marginal gains you can make month on month.