Boosting Your Leadership Self-esteem

At work, leaders are constantly being challenged by coworkers, by the need to conform to the organization culture, to resist to the opinion of others and to work through other external pressure.

Because leadership comes most often from within and requires great energy, self-discipline, strong purpose, maintaining self-esteem is critical to maintaining leadership.

Wondering how to get a bulletproof self-esteem?Boosting Your Leadership Self-esteem

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem corresponds to our self-image and to the opinion that we have of ourselves. It is made of the differences between the way we perceive ourselves, the way we want to be perceived and the way we are actually being perceived.

It is also a feeling of competency, worthiness, efficiency, performance, self-respect. It delimits our sense of identity, self-worth, well-being and constant satisfaction no matter the circumstances.

Self-esteem is the ability to cope with life challenges. It is the belief in our abilities, our values, our potential to confidently demonstrate our abilities and values. Therefore, self-esteem is an important component of leadership.

Self-esteem is an internal quality, is not a constant and can rise or fall throughout life, throughout challenges.

Why is it important?

With a proper amount of self-esteem, you are able to trust your skills, your knowledge, your decisions and your thoughts. Low self-esteem leads to poor relationships, depression, anxiety and anger. Increasing self-esteem amounts to better health and a stronger ability to cope with stressful situations.

As a leader, having a solid self-esteem is necessary to make decisions without fear or hesitation, to think clearly, to trust his or her opinion, to remain optimistic under pressure, to help others feel good about themselves, to build relationships, and to gracefully welcome change.

Furthermore, building self-esteem in your team will help them take pride in their work and make them commit to goals.

How to boost your leadership self-esteem?

Building self-esteem is not an overnight process and requires patience. To boost your leadership self-esteem:

  1. Rewire your thinking process and remember that you are not alone if you are suffering with low self-esteem.
  2. Recall that you cannot please everyone and the first person to please is yourself.
  3. Remember that you cannot be a master at everything and that you must focus on the vital few.
  4. Accept that you cannot control everything, that suffering and joy are part of life and that no one is perfect.
  5. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a different combination of experiences, of strengths and weaknesses that they must accept. This will help you build on the skills that you are good at and operate through your weaknesses.
  6. Accept yourself: learn to spend time alone and to enjoy your own company. Find activities that are fun and that you do well outside of work. Treat yourself kindly and take time off to do things that are pleasurable to you.
  7. Avoid reasoning with your emotions, dwelling on the negative, complaining, self-pity, shifting blame or blowing an issue out of proportion. You can remove the power that emotions and past negative experiences holds over you by writing down on paper or by speaking it out loud.
  8. Always maintain your integrity, treat people fairly and do the right thing, even if it puts you in a difficult situation. This will also help you maintain your self-respect and the respect that people have for you.
  9. Stay authentic. Being fake or hypocritical is not sustainable on the long run and your real self will slowly suffer the consequences.
  10. Be resilient and believe that you can overcome challenges and that you can find solutions to your problems.
  11. Learn to be grateful and stay grounded in reality but learn to appreciate and celebrate success, to recognize your achievements and position in life.
  12. Don’t be afraid of failure and learn from your past mistakesIf you have wronged someone, admit it and apologize.
  13. List your life achievements and list what you wish to achieve. Understanding what you have accomplished will increase your positivity and strengthen your belief that you can see things through.
  14. Avoid seeking only status and playing aggressive politics at work to get ahead.
  15. Stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself to your past self instead.
  16. Create good habits and be self-disciplined enough to stick to a routine.
  17. Set boundaries. This is a complex task because most people don’t know how to, some confuse standing up for themselves and setting boundaries with being blatantly mean.
  18. Be compassionate towards yourself and others. Forgive yourself and others. This doesn’t mean that you have forgotten or that you now start back trusting or working with the same people.
  19. Experience life with an open-mind. Don’t take life too seriously and acknowledge that you don’t know everything.
  20. Eat well and regularly. Use meditation and exercise to stay healthy mentally and physically, to stay in control of your thoughts and to evacuate negative emotions.
  21. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Sleep affects your mood, your thoughts, your body and your resilience towards adversity.
  22. Don’t rely on people or other external factors to restore your self-esteem. Compliments only stroke your ego and will have no effect on your self-esteem for long. On the same length, belittling people won’t do the trick either.
  23. As a leader, it is important that you share your knowledge with your team. Retaining information is a sign of weakness, of a desire for control, power and will not lead you to success. On the other hand, your team skills, loyalty and respect will unequivocally be increased.
  24. Take responsibility for your actions, seek solutions instead of creating problems.
  25. Seek positive qualities in your employees, give positive feedback and build a positive work environment. Giving positive feedback doesn’t mean dismissing or sugarcoating negative feedback but it means that you give constructive criticism and make people feel good about their work performance.
  26. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Place them on tasks that employ their strengths, and don’t hesitate to stretch their abilities and responsibilities.
  27. Remove doubt from your employees so they can perform better.
  28. Teach your team to see problems as challenges or opportunities in disguise. Do not punish mistakes and show that it is OK to disagree, to share a dissenting opinion, or to say “I don’t know”.
  29. Mitigate bad behavior within your team and maintain composure no matter the circumstances.
  30. Include playful time in the workplace. This will increase productivity. Contrary to popular bureaucratic and corporate belief, be playful is not a sign of immaturity to carelessness. Instead, it is a way to release painful experiences.
  31. Seek external professional help to sort through bad experiences and memories if necessary.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshineThe Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. It is used to highlight bloggers that are positive, creative, inspiring and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers.

I am grateful to be nominated by Parler d’Expresso for the Sunshine Blogger Award, along side with 9 other blogs. Parler d’Expresso is a great lifestyle blog, where Freddy shares his raw opinion on various topics. It is uncommon for career advice blogs to be nominated, so I am willing to indulge.

How does it work?

1. Thank the person that nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog
2. Answer the questions from the person that nominated you
3. Nominate some other bloggers for this award and give them questions to answer too
4. Notify the bloggers you have nominated
5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo

Lets get to know each other better…

What made you start blogging?

For my first leadership job, straight out of college, I had no clues of what I was doing. So, I started reading books on self-assessment and self-development. Most importantly, I started taking notes of these books and applying them on a regular basis on my job. My blog is a result of what has worked for me so far. Tested and approved.

What inspires you to write?

I want to help recent graduates and people, mostly working in corporate, to acquire great values, to develop their leadership skills and character.

What is your vision in life?

My vision in life is to create an entire brand around my blog.

Who is your role model?

I have several role models that are mostly public figures and public speakers such as

  • Lolly Daskal for her professional background,
  • Steve Harvey for his candor about his struggles, entrepreneurial spirit and inspirational speeches,
  • TD Jakes for his desire to leave a mark, and to inspirit others to pursue their purpose.

I have many more role models but those are the ones that stand out to me right now.

My nominees for the Sunshine Blogger Award are:

And now, here are my questions to you, my nominees:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What is that you like the most about blogging?
  3. What is your dream job ?
  4. What’s the most exciting thing you ever done?
  5. A book that you will definitely recommend?
  6. How would you describe yourself in three words?
  7. What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Brad Lomenick

author

Brad Lomenick is a renowned speaker, leadership consultant, longtime president of Catalyst and author of H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle.

How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton

How Full is Your BucketIn How Full is Your Bucket?, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath have partnered up in the hopes of helping people focus on the positive and not the negative. In his previous research and in his life experiences, Donald O. Clifton noticed that every interaction in life made a difference and profoundly shaped his perceptions.

The theory of the dipper and the bucket

To Donald O. Clifton and to Tom Rath, everyone possesses an invisible bucket and an invisible dipper. Filling your bucket would be synonymous to “boosting your well-being” and feeling engaged in your work.

An invisible bucket that can be emptied or filled depending on our interactions with others. When the bucket is full, we feel great, optimistic, energetic, renewed and strong.

An invisible dipper that can empty of fill someone else’s bucket. When the dipper is used to fill someone else’s bucket, we simultaneous fill our own bucket. When we use our dipper to empty someone else’s bucket, we empty our own bucket.

The power of Negativity

The Power of NegativityNegativity has the power to kill an individual. For most of us, negativity is common and harmless, but erodes our well-being and productivity. Negativity is also contagious and pushes us to start dipping in someone else’s bucket in the hopes of fulling ours.

In the workplace, daily multiple micro aggressions or the accumulation of negative interactions can cause people invisible and individual bucket to be emptied. An empty bucket has consequences on your well-being, on the well-being of your friends and family members, on your work performance, on your team’s productivity.

The disengagement and the negativity of employees are conveyed by “glazed looks”, counter productivity, a tendency to “stirring up trouble with whining, complaining, and even paranoia.

Fortunately, positivity is much more impactful than negativity.

As a leader or manager, how to make sure that employees individual bucket is full? How to get them to stay engaged?

Employees often lack recognition for their good work and “praise is rare in most organization”.

It takes a little initiative to create inexpensive and meaningful bucket filling experiences. For example, a short, motivating, positive conversation from leaders to increase employees productivity, alignment and engagement would suffice.

Leaders and managers have to:

  • switch the focus on their employees strengths only,
  • daily and positively interact with their team members.

Where is Negativity Rooted?

Our predisposition for either positivity or negativity is similar to our metabolism and our or disposition for weight gain. No matter how much someone eats, they will always remain thin.

Filling someone bucket should be unique, specific to the individual, appropriate to the work environment. Generic one size fits all approaches often backfire.

The american culture is to blame for the development and inclination toward negativity. In the American culture, we focus on what we do wrong instead of what we do right, on fixing weaknesses and dismissing strengths. “This focus is particularly evident in our school experiences” or at work where our natural talents and our skills don’t fit our roles. Also, we expect our employees to change their personality to fit the role.

According to John Gottman’s research on marriage, there is a magic ratio to respect in order to maintain positivity and to fill your bucket. The magic ratio is 5:1 which means that there must be 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.

This magic ratio is critical for the workplace. For instance, teams with having more than 3 positive interactions for every negative interaction (3:1 ratio) gain in productivity and engagement. However, teams having more than a 13:1 ratio lose in productivity.

That is why, Rath and Clifton recommend grounding positivity in reality, but also acknowledging negativity and weaknesses and correcting mistakes.

The Benefits of Positivity

Positive or negative encounters are highly memorable and can change your life forever. Positivity creates a mindset that:

  • becomes a buffer against adversity, depression, health issues,
  • enables recovery from traumatic, painful experiences,
  • improves mental physical well-being,
  • stands as a coping and defense mechanisms,
  • transforms and breaks down social barriers,
  • generates optimal functioning in organizations and in individuals,
  • Induced by leader, improves productivity and group performance in the workplace.

How to Increase Positive Emotions?

To increase positive emotions and positive encounters, apply the following five strategies:

  1. Prevent any type of bucking dipping

    • Stop poking fun at someone, focusing in their insecurities, chronically criticizing others.
    • Encourage this change among people around you.
    • Start pressing pause consciously eliminating unwarranted negativity.
    • Keep track of your progress by scoring your interactions.
  1. Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong

To know if your focus us centered around what is right or if you have some impact on your environment, take the Positive Impact Test from Gallup. The Positive Impact Test provides 15 statements to measure your impact and your progress. Don’t hesitate to print them, read them and encourage your friends to take the test.

  1. Develop several good relationships

    • These relationships have to be best friends quality with coworkers in order to increase your job satisfaction and productively and subsequently increase theirs.
    • Actively listen to your coworkers.
    • Acknowledge when someone is doing a great job.
  2. Give unexpectedly

  3. Reverse the Golden Rule

    • The Golden Rule signifies “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Clifton and Rath introduced the reverted golden rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”.
    • Personalize your interactions and the way you praise and recognize others.

Review

How Full is Your Bucket? by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath is a brief, easy to read, encouraging and compelling book that gives tools to spread positivity in life or at work, to become a better leader, to develop values and character.

Furthermore, I found interesting that both authors share their personal adversities and explain how they have ingrained positivity in their lives and thoughts to overcome their health obstacles.

On a personal level, I wanted to read a positive book, that can stimulate everyone’s mind, inspire leaders to work on themselves and their leadership skills, to provide some tools to dilute the toxicity and the negativity in the workplace, to break the cycle of negativity in your life.

I believe that most of us can handle positive situations and encounters, but not everyone can handle difficult situations, that preparation is key and it is better to be safe then sorry, that it is better to be warned about toxicity than to be blindsided by it, and finally that knowledge is power.

In addition, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath are right when they claim that negativity stems from your culture and has become the norm. They are also right when they state that emptying someone else’s bucket will not make you feel better but only make you feel less then. So, you have to wonder: are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?

Favorite quote(s)

Most of us want more positive emotions in our lives. We want to feel like Tammy did in her brief meeting with Karen more often – and like she did after her performance review less often. Unfortunately, wanting a more positive environment isn’t enough. Most of us have grown up in a culture in which it’s much easier to tell people what they did wrong instead of praising them when they succeed. Although this negativity-based approach might have evolved unintentionally, it nevertheless permeates our society at all levels.

Recognition is most appreciated and effective when it is individualized, specific, and deserved.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Donald O. Clifton

Tom Rath

Purchase

Donald O. Clifton

authorDonald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003) was a chairman of Gallup, was named the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology by the American Psychological Association. Donald O. Clifton is also the author of How Full is Your Bucket?.