MENU

What Leaders are Learning

Leaders are Confident

Leaders are Confident

Leadership Spokane is committed to the truism that leaders always learn. This past week, our Adult Leadership Class focused on Education and the importance of conceptualizing ‘big dreams’ for followers. I will address this important servant leadership characteristic on my next blog. Today, I want to focus on an essential characteristic of all leaders…confidence. I maintain the value of Leadership Spokane is we deliver dedicated and confident leaders to serve Spokane. The strength of the program is we equip leaders who know themselves, know their classmates and know Spokane.
For any of this to come together, leaders must be confident, enough to say I will serve with strength.Confidence
Columnist Francisco Dao in his Inc. article “Without Confidence, There Is No Leadership” sums up the importance of confidence nicely: “Self-confidence is the fundamental basis from which leadership grows. Trying to teach leadership without first building confidence is like building a house on a foundation of sand. It may have a nice coat of paint, but it is ultimately shaky at best. While the leadership community has focused on passion, communication, and empowerment, they’ve ignored this most basic element and in the process they have planted these other components of leadership in a bed of quicksand.”
Leadership Spokane understands this well with consultant Jason Swain, Swain and Associates, building confidence with our leaders early on with a series of teambuilding exercises. The SCAN teams expand the boundaries of our classmates and we also introduce communication exercises to build confidence as well. New to the program this year, the class is participating in three community service projects to challenge, test and ultimately reward successful leadership. Our expectation is that after ten months of running with a fast crowd of other leaders, the Leadership Spokane graduates will cross the stage standing a little taller, a little wiser and certainly more confident that they can go out and tackle big problems.
Peter Barron Stark in his blog “The Role Confidence Plays in Leadership” points out that confident leaders are generally happier, have better relationships, are motivated and ambitious, laugh more, are open to risks, recognize success better, accept feedback, and think for themselves. In short, Stark acknowledges that confidence is the difference between an average leader and a great leader.
A great leader I was privileged to call friend by the name of Kirk Kirkpatrick passed away last week at the age of 92. He was a member of the Greatest Generation and served in World War II as a famous Flying Tiger. The Flying Tigers were an elite group of pilots who volunteered to go to China to defend the Chinese from Japanese aggression before America entered the war. The pilots were brave flying antiquated fighter aircraft against more numerous and faster Japanese fighters. I asked Kirk why he would leave America to defend a people he didn’t know risking his life. He smiled and replied to me the words I will never forget…words any confident leader would say: “I thought I could make a difference all by myself.” Leaders are confident…yes they are!
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” ~ Sir Edmund Hillary