Self –esteem is the belief that you are worth the effort to, among other things, at times make tough decisions. If you’re a leader and your self-esteem is low or lacking, it could be costing you money.. and a LOT of it at that.
When a leader suffers from low self-esteem, their decisions are likely to lean toward those that will gain external approval. This applies to customers, bosses, colleagues and team members. Often it is a function of simply being new to the position and will improve with time, but in the improvement phase, the following scenarios are not only likely, but costly:
– Low self-esteem may cause a leader to keep a poor performing employee far longer than is appropriate, draining benefits, individual productivity, team productivity and customer experiences when working with that person.
– Low self-esteem may cause a leader to shy away from defending a “right” decision when a powerful boss blusters “this is what must be done, regardless of cost”, instead of calmly pointing out cost savings or finding another way to approach the boss in a language that fits his or her sense of urgency for action and results.
– Low self-esteem may cause a leader to do enthusiastically MORE than it takes to save a customer by giving away much more than what the customer may have requested if asked “What would be the best way for us to resolve this for you?” Those in need of having the customer “like” them or think of them as saving the situation are likely to give away the farm faster, to gain the appreciation.
If you work with newer managers, recently promoted, but perhaps not prepared, there is a solution to boosting their short term dip in self-esteem when learning their new role. Give them help in the way of a mentor, senior leader, executive coach or perhaps even audio or written resources, such as Contagious Confidence™ or Contagious Leadership. Make it a part of their orientation as a manager and also examine those who may have needed this orientation when they were promoted and consider improving the confidence at all management levels. Only when a leader develops a higher level of self-awareness and self-esteem will they be able to develop it in others.
A higher authentic self-esteem improves confidence, communication, team work, collaboration, and the bottom line and begins with the perceptions, beliefs, and explanations of the leader… all of which create contagious behavior and much of which take place among the voices in their head. Yep, you read that correctly the voices in their head. J
Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.