What is confidence? Why do some people enter a room and radiate a stage presence, a grounded-ness, while others walk in a room unnoticed? Recently, I spoke with a group of women leaders in the healthcare industry as they were beginning a 9-month mentor program. The focus and curriculum for the next 3 quarters was, “How to be a Confident Leader.” This room was filled with MBAs, lawyers, VPs, executive level professionals and this topic drew their attention. A group of women that from their titles and their degrees would, I assume, exude confidence. It got me thinking, what is confidence? What do these successful women feel they are lacking? The answer to the question came in an “Oprah-style” interview I hosted during the evening with a senior level female executive—a woman these eager men-tees were leaning in to ask questions and glean bits wisdom for success. Her definition of confidence boiled down to 5 simple things:
1. Know who you are and leverage your talents
2. Always make your boss look good- it is NOT about you, it is about the project, the product, the initiative- Not YOU.
3. Be willing to be a straight shooter-give feedback on issues (not people) and always be lovingly honest.
4. Love people and genuinely care- be interested in others. Remember, it is not about YOU.
5. Add so much value that you can’t be lived without.
Bottom-line: Know yourself, Give, Love, and Leave your ego at the door!