What To Do When You Lose Confidence In Your Ability To Lead

If you've lost your leadership confidence, today is the day that you start taking back. Here's a look at 6 practical steps to get started.

Photo: Ken Gosnell, CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience); Source: Courtesy Photo
Photo: Ken Gosnell, CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience); Source: Courtesy Photo

Business can be tough. Business can be especially hard for founders and leaders who have lost their confidence in their ability to lead. As a leader you have the hard task of setting a vision, unifying your team, and building structure. When you lose confidence, these roles and so much more like them can become more painful and cause significant issues.

Although leaders face many demons they have to overcome, the issue that impacts most leaders is how to regain leadership confidence after a major loss.

If you’ve been through a setback that made you question your ability to lead, regain your leadership confidence by following these steps.


1. Be honest

Begin the journey to regain your leadership confidence by admitting the truth about the business failures you have experienced. Leaders who regain momentum after a loss, don’t hide their mistakes or run from failure. They openly take ownership of the decisions that have caused the decline or setback.


2. Be visionary

The next step for you as a leader is to see a new vision for your business. Start to dream again. Dreaming can be the hardest step for some leaders. Begin to see a new future and see it as a new reality.


3. Be expectant

Cultivate an expectant positive attitude. Believe that your situation will begin to get better. Start believing and conveying to your team that you expect new blessings to come in the form of new customers, new ideas, new products, new solutions, and new behaviors. Here is a leadership truth: We get what we expect and believe is possible.


Photo: Croft Alexande, Pexels
Photo: Croft Alexande, YFS Magazine


4. Remain focused

Focus on small victories. When you start to win, you start winning. Focusing on the small victories that are easily overlooked during your day. Ask yourself daily, “What is my greatest win that I will achieve today.” Then don’t quit until you have accomplished your win for the day. Small victories lead to larger wins and success down the road.


5. Be encouraged

Find a group of people and create a support network that can encourage you and remind you that you are a winner. We have a lot of people in our lives that will remind us of our failures and mistakes. Equally, we need peers to call out our best and encourage us to become the successful leaders we are capable of becoming.


6. Be decisive

Make decisions thoughtfully and quickly. A lack of confidence often causes us to lose the ability to make tough decisions. Decisions and choices lead us to a better future. As a leader you are called to make decisions. The worst thing a leader can do is become indecisive. Ask yourself, “What decision do I need to make today?” and then make it – don’t look back. Start by making small decisions that seem straightforward. Build on the more significant decisions that provide a more substantial business impact.


A loss of leadership confidence can happen unexpectedly (even to the best of us). However, leaders can regain confidence even after a big loss. Confidence is the ‘X’ factor for leaders. Leaders who are confident and bold in their beliefs about their companies and lives can experience breakthroughs and successes.

If you have lost your leadership confidence, make today the day that you start taking back. Not only for your benefit, but also for the good of those that you lead.


Ken Gosnell is the CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience). He serves leaders by helping them to have great experiences that both transform them and their organizations that enable to go further faster. He has worked with hundreds of CEOs and leadership teams to enhance strategic, operational and people accomplishments. He is an author, coach, and strategic partner with CEOs. Ken is the creator and facilitator of the Christian CEO Linkedin Group and creator of the CEO Experience Impact Assessment. He is married to Shonda, and they have four children.


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