Confidence and trust: Necessary ingredients in effective leadership
Tuesday, December 01, 2015
Confidence can be an elusive factor for leaders — having either too much or too little confidence is not good. The true test of leadership is finding the right balance. Along with confidence comes the trust factor. Trust and confidence go hand in hand in the leadership mix.
The 2014 Global Workforce Study by Towers Watson interviewed more than 32,000 participants around the world and was "designed to capture both employee and employer perspectives on the emerging trends and issues shaping the global workplace." This study looked at base pay, job security and career advancement opportunities. Other factors included trust/confidence in senior leadership, job security and length of commute.
For the purpose in this discussion, the focus will be on the organization's confidence and trust in their leadership. Another important component is the leaders' confidence in themselves and earning trust from the workforce.
"For employees to remain with an organization, they must have confidence in the ability of their top leaders to motivate and guide them in today's dynamic business environment," the study indicates. "Yet organizations underestimate the role of senior leaders in helping to retain employees. From their perspective, a worker's relationship with their supervisor is more critical to retention."
From the employer perspective, his or her responsibility is to engage the workforce to show confidence in each individual's ability, as well as take the time necessary to build the trust needed within the organization. Leaders need to make sure they grow their talent, mentor and be available help employees grow within the organization.
The employee's position is important and should not be minimized. However, they too have a responsibility to make the appropriate efforts to involve themselves with their leadership. This is relevant because this is the best way for the individual to get ahead and to be retained. It is not enough for leadership to do all the work; employees must be proactive in their own career path.
Leaders should be proactive in formulating a culture where confidence and trust are abundant. This type of culture is vital to the organization's stability and economic future. Organizational leadership has too often been reluctant in making sure the entire workforce understands its mission, vision and goals.
Leaders must be confident in their own abilities. This shows the workforce they can lead by this example of confidence. Ultimately, trust will follow, which is so needed in today's organizations. Leaders must also be sure to help individuals be confident in themselves — confidence breeds better skills and more opportunities for growth.
Finally, it imperative for both sides (employer/employee) to be involved in the commitment to having confidence and trust. Confidence and trust do take time to build, but taking that time will help the organization become the best it can be.
Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi said it best: "The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have."
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