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Being a confident leader - with Sian Carter

We all struggle with confidence sometimes. Confidence is about believing in yourself and being comfortable with your authentic self. However, it is hard to maintain because it can be knocked down at any moment. As a leader, you know the importance of leading with confidence, but it is easier said than done.

Advice to managers who are struggling with confidence

  • Decide what confidence means to you - firstly, define what confidence means to you because confidence means different things to different people. This will allow you to see where you are on the spectrum. Confidence is about having the courage to take action and emerge yourself in something without knowing what the end result will be.

  • Recognise where you stand – it is important to first realise how you are currently showing up in your role before you can take the next step.

  • Identify who you want to be as a leader – after you have identified where you stand as a leader, you have to identify where the gap is between where you are and where you want to be. How do you get from point A to point B? Evaluate the situation to see why the gap is there in the first place. When you identify who you want to be as a leader, you can start to break down the steps you need to take to become the leader you want to be.

What stops us from being confident in our role

What stops leaders from being confident in their role is who they think they need to be. There is still an old persona of who you need to be as a leader and as a manager, and most people think that because they are managers, they must have these certain managerial traits. The old persona of a manager is that they need to know it all, but a manager’s role is to inspire others and work with their team and help them to develop and grow. You don’t need to be anybody; you just need to be yourself. Show up as your authentic self if you want to be the best leader you can be.

Many people in a leadership position fear how other people may respond if they are authentic, but you need to have the courage to be true to yourself, and strip down that armour that you have put on.

Showing up as a confident leader

If you want to show up as a confident leader, then keep in mind not to separate yourself from your team - make them a part of the journey. Don’t be scared to be authentic when you are working with them – it is alright not to know everything, and it is normal to fail and learn from your mistakes. Remember, your team is not looking to you to know everything because, at the end of the day, you do not need to know everything, you just need to know how to manage people well and get the best out of them.

Ultimately, leaders need to allow their team to shine because that is how you build a high-performing team. As a leader, you must empower your team and make them feel valued and make them feel that they have a purpose in their role. Engage with your team by empowering them and celebrating each other’s wins, as well as failures because failures are learning opportunities.

Remember, failure is vital if you and your team want to grow. As a leader, embrace those challenges and recognise that setbacks are just temporary. Believe that you can improve and after each fall, pick yourself up again and learn from that mistake. It will only become a failure if you do not learn something from it. The journey is about progression and not perfection.

To further help yourself and your team, build an open and transparent culture in the workplace so that your team does not fear failure or being judged. Foster a culture where if your team entrusts you to let you know that they are feeling challenged or they’ve made a mistake, they are going to be supported rather than judged and dismissed.


Recognise the impact you make as a leader, so that when you are considering being a confident leader, then first consider how you want to show up. Being self-aware and aligning yourself with the company’s values will help you grow into the leader you want to be.

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