Frequently asked questions

  • What makes a great leader?

    A great leader should have strong self-awareness and awareness of others. They should excel in communication (both verbal and nonverbal), embrace a growth mindset, be empathetic of others, have a high level of confidence and integrity, and the ability to influence and motivate.

  • What makes a poor leader?

    A poor leader is one who focuses on himself/herself. They are not able to recognize (or admit) their own weaknesses. They may feel that instilling fear in others is the way to motivate. They may say one thing and do another, which creates lack of trust from others. They may micromanage and have poor communication.

  • What should every new leader know?

    As a new leader, you are in a position to make a difference in the lives and careers of those who work for you. That’s no small thing. Addressing issues as they arise is important. Don’t wait. Putting off an uncomfortable conversation won’t make it any easier. In fact, it can make it more difficult and the issue may escalate.

    Instead of giving the answers to your employees when they ask you questions, empower them to come up with the answers by asking THEM the right questions. This helps them to learn and grow while instilling confidence in their thought process and decision-making while developing their critical thinking skills. Using a coaching approach with your employees will help you to do this.

    Know that you don’t know everything and it’s okay that you don’t. When some people are promoted and take on more responsibility, they may feel that they are expected to have every answer and to know everything. Remind yourself that you’re human. The people at the top surround themselves with smart people for a reason. Utilize your resources and don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t have the answer. Being authentic, genuine and humble will make you more relatable to those who report to you. It will also help to establish trust.

    Maintain a growth mindset. Find the opportunity to learn from every situation no matter what the outcome. As a leader, you will continually evolve and learn. If you embrace that idea, the possibilities can be endless.

  • What are the benefits of an effective leadership development program?

    The benefits of leadership development programs are many. Leadership development can increase productivity, develop strong and effective leaders, boost morale and company culture, strengthen employee retention, increase success in managing change, and improve financial performance.

  • What are the most important leadership skills?

    There are many varying perspectives on what the most important leadership skills are. And there is no shortage of skills.

    At The Confidence Track, we present our viewpoint for consideration: Confidence is the foundation upon which all leadership skills are built.

    Think about it – when one feels confident in who they are, and in their role, it makes so many other skills easier. Here are some examples:

    • Delegation
    • Having difficult conversations
    • Prioritizing and saying no
    • Communication
    • Coaching others
    • Dealing with change
    • Managing up
    • Motivating your team
    • Negotiating
    • Handling undesirable outcomes
    • Holding others accountable
    • And many more…

    You can see how each of these skills would be easier if you’re able to manage and overcome any confidence roadblocks you have. That’s why The Confidence Track includes “Overcoming Confidence Roadblocks” in every program they offer. Even if someone feels they have full confidence, it’s not unusual for them to realize that they, in fact, do face these roadblocks – they’re just not always aware of them and how they can impact their leadership skills.

  • What is the difference between a manager and a leader?

    While there are skills that overlap between the two, there are some noticeable differences between managers and leaders.

    Leaders bring out the best in their people. They are visionary, focused on the people, and promote change and vision. A leader, by virtue of his or her qualities, exudes authority. People follow leaders because they want to.

    Managers focus on the tasks required to complete a goal or project and direct and monitor other employees in helping to achieve that. They are very transactional and are focused on process. Where leaders promote change and vision, managers often react to change and vision. People follow managers because it is a requirement of their position.

    Managers can certainly be leaders. Anyone in any position can be a leader if they have the skills to do so.

  • Are leaders born or made?

    The first question is – does it matter?

    Everyone has varying levels of skills. One person might naturally be a better communicator than another person, who is stronger at making decisions. Were they born this way? Or did they have influences and more exposure to certain things in their lives that made them stronger in one area vs another?

    One can argue either way. Regardless, leadership skills can be learned and improved upon through refining and practice. You can observe someone whose leadership abilities you admire. Identify what specific skills make them shine and work on developing those in yourself.

    If you ever get caught up in the notion of wondering why someone else seems to be such a natural leader – consider that you may not know the training or experience they had. Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. You may not fully know the challenges they conquered to get to where they are. They likely worked hard to get there.

  • What are the top keys to success for women leaders?

    Strengthen confidence.When your confidence is strong, it makes so many other challenges easier to face. Confidence allows you to drive and take action. It allows you to stand up for yourself. It helps you to overcome fear. It makes you feel – unstoppable.

    Learn negotiation.No matter what position you’ll take on, you will always be in a situation to negotiate something. Strengthening negotiation skills will help you to resolve conflicts, create contracts, secure clients, negotiate salary, promotions, and benefits.

    Keep your eyes open to opportunity.Opportunities are abound but only when you’re looking for them. You may have many pass right in front of you every day and not be aware of them because you’re simply not looking.

    Embrace agility.Things can change in a minute – a new boss, an acquisition, layoffs, extra responsibility, a relocation, etc. Know that your career will likely not go in the exact path you think it will. Be ready for the unexpected. By embracing agility, you will be better equipped to continue moving with the flow vs. feeling stuck or unprepared.

    Don’t settle.Don’t sell yourself short and talk yourself into believing “this is good enough” when your heart is telling you aspire for more and greater things. Keep on keeping on. The time will pass regardless. Do you want to get five years down the road, wishing you HAD gone for it? Or do you want to get five years down the road and feel so grateful that you continued to work towards your ultimate dreams?

    Quit worrying.Oftentimes we waste energy and time worrying about things that will likely never happen. When we do this, we are giving away our talents and power to a completely unknown factor. Focus on what you can control, and stop worrying about what you can’t.

    Be your own best champion.Stop any negative self-talk. Start talking nice to yourself like you would to a good friend. Encourage yourself and BELIEVE in yourself. Give yourself credit for all of the amazing accomplishments you’ve worked so hard to achieve. And give yourself some grace. No one is perfect. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself. Ask yourself, “what can I learn from this?” and then move on.

    Find a good sponsor or mentor.There are statistics that show men are more likely to have executive sponsors or mentors than women are. Don’t wait for someone to come to you. You need to drive this. Seek out an executive sponsor or mentor. They can help point out opportunities and provide sound advice on ways to continue to progress in your career.

    Identify your personal core values (they are your north star) and stay true to them.When your core values are not being upheld, life can feel “off.” Things can feel out of balance. Identify what your core values are and find ways to prioritize them in your life.

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The Confidence Track