Positive Leadership

9 Powers of Positive Leadership - Lesson 1: Building Self-Confidence

January 10, 2024 Jean-Philippe Courtois
Positive Leadership
9 Powers of Positive Leadership - Lesson 1: Building Self-Confidence
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to a brand new bitesize podcast series, the 9 Powers of Positive Leadership.

With insights from world-renowned coaches, positive psychologists, and purpose-driven leaders, JP will take you step-by-step through the nine key behaviors that will energize and inspire you to achieve success for yourself, others and the world.

We start with actionable insights for Building Self-Confidence - listen now.

Subscribe now to JP's free monthly newsletter "Positive Leadership and You" on LinkedIn to transform your positive impact today: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/positive-leadership-you-6970390170017669121/

JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Each and every one of us as leaders possess unique ability. We can create a ripple effect of positive influence that can truly change lives. Think about the last time you met someone who radiates positivity. It's almost tangible and you leave feeling uplifted, don't you? When we maintain a positive outlook we become more approachable to friends and colleagues. That leads to more productive collaborations and career opportunities. 
 The first step to being a positive influence is to build your power of self-confidence. Self-confidence means two things. Accepting and trusting yourself and having a sense of control in your life. So what tools can we use to help us become more confident leaders? 


MELLODY HOBSON: Where does the confidence come? My confidence comes from being studied. When I am studied in my subject matter, I am very confident. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Mellody Hobson is the Chairman of the board of Directors at Starbucks and co-CEO of Ariel Investments. For decades, she was a contributor to financial segments on the US TV show Good Morning America. On screen, Mellody exuded confidence. But getting to that point took an incredible amount of work. 


MELLODY HOBSON: You know, I would just wake up to do Good Morning America at four in the morning. I'd wake up at three or two, and I just practice and practice and practice. I'd get in the car where a driver would drive me to the studio, and I'd run through my script with the driver, just anyone driving me in the car. And I said, what? Don't you understand that I'm saying? And they would think I was crazy. I'm like, I'm doing this, this segment on TV on this topic, and I'm going to like, read it back and forth. I'm going to pose the question, then answer it and tell me if you understand. If you don't understand what I'm saying, tell me, like I did that so many times, I can't. I mean hundreds if not thousands of times of being on TV for 20 years for melody. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Like many of the leaders I speak to, having confidence comes from really mastering a material. So the first thing to remember, know your stuff. And even if you don't feel confident, practicing confident body language can increase your self-esteem and help you feel better about yourself. Maintain a contact. Stand up straight and don't fidget. 


MELLODY HOBSON: When I was on television, there was someone who would watch all of the segments and they'd say, whenever they thought I was unsure, he said. Your voice quivers just a little bit, and he's like, the average person can't hear it. But we're experts and we can hear your voice quiver. I learned to hear my voice quiver. And then in hearing my voice quiver, I knew when I wasn't at the top of my game and that I needed to know something and do more work, and that became like a really great tool for me, for myself, of you need to get stronger on this subject. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS:: Mastery of a new skill requires both humility and courage. Whitney Johnson in her best-selling book, Disrupt Yourself, uses the biblical story of David and Goliath. To find the courage to defeat your own Goliath, she says, you need tools in your backpack. 


WHITNEY JOHNSON: So, tool number one, taking the right risks. It's a willingness to play where you have not played before. The theory of disruption says that when you do that, your odds of success are six times higher. Number two is play to your distinctive strengths. Play to your strengths. What do you do well? What makes you feel strong? Because when you feel strong, you're willing to play where you haven't played. And so there's a flywheel effect of playing to your strengths and taking the right risks. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: And your confidence grows as well. 


WHITNEY JOHNSON: It grows as well. Yeah. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: One technique you can use to really leverage your strengths and help you grow your confidence is what is called the Reflected Best Self Feedback exercise. It was created from research at the center for Perseverance Decisions at University of Michigan. Professor Kim Cameron is the center's cofounder. 


KIM CAMERON: Most of the time when we get feedback in an organization, it's in some kind of form, like a 360 analysis. 95% of the time I look for the low scores. So almost all feedback reports focus me on the negative. So we said to ourselves, well, how can we provide feedback to people that doesn't kill them toward the negative, accused them toward the positive? We asked an individual, simply select 20 people, coworkers, family members. Ask them to write three short descriptions, three paragraphs where you've been especially high impact in a positive way. What strengths did you display that then can lead to? And therefore? Here's some things I can capitalize on. Here's some ways I can even. Improve my strengths or at least demonstrate my strengths. 


JEAN-PHILIPPE COURTOIS: Identifying and enhancing your own strengths. Taking the right kind of risk. Putting in the time and effort to master material. Proven ways to improve your self-confidence. 
 I'm Jean-Philippe Courtois. In the next session, I'll be sharing practical tips on how to generate positive energy. To hear more from many of those featured in this episode head to the archive for their full lengths episode.