Self-esteem is about representing yourself with comfortable confidence, equal among equals – and helping others to do the same. If you have low self-esteem you will struggle to help yourself, much less help others. You will not be able to do your job, as a leader, effectively because:
1. You probably feel the need to prove that you are right all the time, rarely allowing
team members to state their opinions – when they do, you assign little value to them if they are different from your own. This causes you to have an inability to take valuable input from various viewpoints, functions and/or cultures. By default you have a never-ending blind-spot and flawed perspective – key indicators of poor leadership.
2. You may constantly feel the need to take credit for any success achieved by
Others on your team… or in the organization. This kind of behavior is unlikely to inspire loyalty or motivation and will not encourage people to give their best efforts.
3.You are more likely to hire people without superior skillsets and with low self-
esteem because you are intimidated by people with stronger skillsets and more confidence than yourself. The reality is that you should be hiring people who are better than you to fill critical holes in the organization. The credit for hiring brilliance will come right back to you!
4. You may feel a driving need to hold tight to the talent you have and will go to any length to keep it… even to the point of harming the organization by not promoting and sharing your very best employees. Holding people down, or back, will never serve you well – sending the excellence you molded out into the organization will show everyone that you are an exceptional leader who develops and values people. Everyone will want to work with you!
Bottom line? Low self-esteem hurts not only you, but the organization and everyone in it. In contrast, high self-esteem contributes to high performance. You deserve a strong self-esteem, and others in your organization (and in your life) deserve a leader with enough self-confidence to help them maximize their potential and strive for success.
I said it last week and I’ll say it again:
You Will Never Rise Above The Level Of Your Own Self-Image.
Strong, confident leadership provides security and self-worth to others. It’s difficult to give security and self-worth to others when you’re still seeking it for yourself. My observation in working with leaders across many industries, functions and cultures is that most people are not satisfied with themselves on some level. Their poor self-image affects how they do their work and live their life in relationship to others. This is a key reason why leaders fail or do not reach their full potential. You do not have to live that reality.
Seriously evaluate how you feel about yourself, deep down inside, and begin to change what you need to change, but accept yourself – flaws and all – because how you see yourself is directly correlated to how others see you as a leader.
Self-esteem is quite possibly the most valuable tool you have in your arsenal – for yourself, your employees and your organization. More of it increases productivity, morale, efficiency and creates greater opportunities for growth. While it is in short supply, as a leader, you can foster, encourage and grow the self-esteem in others – when you do, you will become a far more successful (and satisfied) leader.
How can you help others to successfully develop their self esteem? Here are six amazing things you, as a leader, can do for others:
- Notice Potential.
Notice when someone’s self-esteem isn’t at optimal levels. Know that it is primarily because they don’t see themselves as capable or able to achieve at higher levels. Before you can help others see something new in themselves, you must first see it in them.
2. Help Them See It.
Let your colleagues and employees know you believe in them. Show them examples of success that they can’t see, downplay or deny. Your belief in someone else can transfer to them when you help them see the potential or success you see.
3. Encourage them.
Remind others frequently of what you see. Encourage and generally speak positively with them and about their potential.
4. Challenge them.
When you see potential in others, challenge them to rise to the next level. Your challenge will encourage them to try – when they have some success, their self-esteem will begin to rise based on the successful challenge you encouraged them to accept.
5. Listen to them.
You can’t build self-esteem simply by talking – apply the 80/20 rule (80% listening, 20% talking). Listen to where your people are and what they are challenged by. Try to see what they see, so you can better help them shape a new perspective on themselves and their potential.
6. Support and affirm them.
Both when you are with them and when speaking to others about them . . . in the opportunities you create for them, as well as in the feedback and coaching you provide them. Self-esteem grows through support and affirmation.
As a leader, it is your responsibility, role and opportunity to help others perform at higher and more significant levels. It is quite possible that their limiting factor may be their self-esteem… or yours! As you help those around you lift their self-esteem, you lift their results… and the results of your team and organization.
Your people are your most valuable assets, and they become even more valuable as they build a healthy self-image. You can grow their value by helping them develop that precious and scarce resource of self-esteem. Do that and you will be a highly effective (and valued) leader.
How will you build self-esteem across your organization?
Please engage the discussion and let us know how networking can help you to exceed your potential. Feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com, by visiting my blog at Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders, stopping by our website at Luminosity Global Consulting Group or checking out my new leadership portal at The Global LABB.