Confidence is a funny thing. When you have it, you feel like there's nothing in the world that can stop you. You feel like you can make all the money you want to make; you feel as though you're smarter than every person you meet; you feel entitled to the better things in life; you smile a lot, and people feel infused with your energy. You don't have to be arrogant because you feel so good about yourself that you feel you have nothing to prove to anyone.


When you're not confident, people still feel your energy, but instead of it making them feel better it saps them. You feel unworthy of good things; you question your judgment; you feel as though you have nothing to offer to the world. You sometimes feel jealous or envious of others over the smallest things, and even things that don't pertain to you are depressing. You feel helpless and out of control of your life; what a horrible way to live.

No one's confident all the time. Yet, those who know the feeling of confidence won't be afraid to tackle issues when they get tough. This is especially true of those in leadership positions who are confident in their abilities. Whether it's a major problem they have to solve, employee issues, dealing with peers or upper levels of management or everyday occurrences which include improving their area of responsibility, they'll figure out a way to deal with it as best they can, regardless of potential consequences.

What can one do to get out of the doldrums of insecurity and non-confidence? Doing something different is a good start. A change of routine is a good step towards a different way of thinking. It can be as small as putting your right shoe on first if you usually start with your left foot. Disruption can get your brain ready to do more positive things.

insecure people get trapped in the miasma of inactivity. They feel they can't do anything better, so they don't even try. Confident people are always doing something different even if everything is going well. Confident people learn from new experiences whether they're positive or negative and aren't afraid to shake things up without going overboard.

With that said, let's talk about 5 ways you can be a more confident leader:

1. Always keep your eyes on the prize

Knowing where you want to end up, regardless of what it is, helps to spur confidence. Those who get there will be ecstatic; those who might not quite get there glory in the chase and the progress they're making.

I wasn't close to being a perfect director; perfection is a myth. With that said, I knew I was doing well because my department was doing well. The numbers were strong, the staff worked well together, and we were always improving. Even when things got thrown at us that were out of our control, we stuck together and persevered. That's a good feeling.

2. Keep learning continually

There are many different forms of learning. Sometimes it's book learning; sometimes it's the school of hard knocks. What some call failures, I call experiments. Not only is it a much more positive message, it's true if you keep progressing while learning from what doesn't work out.

For a couple of decades I belonged to a local medical billing group where we were constantly learning new things. Even when I thought I knew it all, I found that there was something new I hadn't considered. I read a lot, things within my spheres of expertise and things that fascinate me for the moment, and I find that I can learn about my industry by seeing how it relates to other things. Confidence is realizing you can learn from many different things and not be cowed by it.

3. Rely on your training or intuition

When I first got into health care, I had to get used to my first computer. The person teaching me, Joanie, was very good and thorough on the how's of the process; I took in everything, even though I worried a lot my first two weeks.

Within a month, I knew the processes cold; what I didn't know were the reasons why we did some of the things that were in the procedure book. I decided to try a few different things because intuition was telling me that some of the processes were redundant and unnecessary. Within a month I learned that I was not only surpassing everyone else's numbers, but I was crushing them. Not only that, but my error rate was low; I hadn't given up accuracy for expediency.

Months later, when I got an assistant supervisor's position in a different department and led a team of my own, I taught them what I'd been doing and how to eliminate a few steps. We became an efficient unit because of the training I'd previously received and my own intuition about the process. Those things gave me the confidence needed to progress over the years.

4. Don't over-worry about outcomes

I'm going to make this one easy; check out this video:

Can You Make The Tough Decision?

5. Do the right thing

"A true leader does what is right no matter what others think." - Dumbledore

Years ago I was consulting at a hospital in New York City, reporting to a guy who was difficult to work with. He had the billing department I was overseeing doing things that were both illegal and potentially suicidal for the facility's financial health. Without telling him, I had one of the people there start doing the right thing, even though I knew it would irritate him in the short term.

When the weekly cash dipped, he was livid, but I knew I was in the right and told him. A couple of weeks later, I gave my two week notice because I was tired of trying to work with him. The surprise to him was that my last week there they got the highest check they'd ever received from Medicaid, and he was astounded. Because I didn't respect him, I said that when you did things the right way you always get benefits from it.

When I left, he ordered the department to go back to doing things his way. Two years later the hospital was shut down and turned into a nursing home and he was fired. Because of his reputation, he never got another position in the city; I'm not sure what happened to him after that.

Confident people succeed as long as they're not arrogant. Confident leaders help others to succeed. When everyone benefits, confidence is easy to attain.