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Build your confidence as a leader

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


As a business owner, it's important that you are a strong and confident leader. This will establish your credibility in the eyes of your employees and the people you do business with, and will also boost the reputation of your business.

Not everyone is a natural leader, but as the head of your business, you need to be secure in your abilities - and come across as such - in order to be taken seriously by your employees, business colleagues and your service providers.

Here are some tips to help you build that confidence:

Embrace your unique talents: Everyone has special talents that set them apart from the rest. You may be a good organiser, negotiator or have the ability to see things in perspective. Find your unique talents and use them to your company's advantage, while taking steps to improve what you perceive are your weaknesses

  • Leave your comfort zone: Don't be afraid to take risks, try new things, make new contacts and do whatever it takes to develop your confidence in your abilities. Complacency and fear of the unknown stifles growth, so don't get stuck in a rut
  • Know your strengths: Identifying and working with your strengths will do wonders for your confidence. Not worrying about what you can't do, will leave you with more time and energy to focus on making your business a success
  • Know how to use your influence: You started your own business, so you must have some degree of competence! Your role as a leader gives you power, so know how to use it to get things done and increase your own effectiveness as a leader
  • Roll with the punches: A confident leader doesn't let obstacles get in the way of his success. There will always be bumps in the road, but not everyone can deal with these effectively for the most positive outcome. Don't be afraid to tackle problems head-on and use your creativity to find solutions
  • Get a mentor: If you feel your need outside help, consider getting a mentor who is considered to be a good/successful leader. Identify the traits you would like to build within yourself and ask your mentor to help you do this

A mistake we often make is to allow other people to undermine us by telling us what we can and can't do. Surround yourself with people who offer encouragement and block your ears to negative talk. If you believe you can succeed, you're already halfway there.

You may not start off as the most confident of leaders, but being an entrepreneur is a learning curve. Do what you can over time to increase your skills, knowledge and confidence, and leadership will soon become second nature.

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