For leaders, confidence is important. Followers who do not see confidence in their leader will not follow long. Yet, faltering or failed confidence is more damaging than no confidence to start. As a result, the origin of your confidence matters more than many realize. There are good and bad sources for leadership confidence.

Confident African American business womanBad Origins of Confidence

Bad origins of confidence are less likely to drive success. These origins are more likely to fail the leader, team and stakeholders. As a result, if your confidence originates from these sources, you should seek an additional source of confidence from the Good origins, below.


I know, it seems crazy for a leadership blog to say a leader is a bad source of confidence, but it’s true. That is, at least, if your leadership alone is the source of your confidence. A single individual can fail, leave or even die. Therefore, confidence in yourself and your team should originate from more than leadership, alone.


You may have a great history of success, but that’s no reason to be confident. Situations change. People change. What made you successful in the past may not make you succeed in the future. Therefore, while past experience may help your confidence, it should not be the origin of it.

“Past performance is not an indication of future performance.” – Financial Industry

Good Origins of Confidence

Good origins of confidence last longer than bad origins. The leader’s confidence is less likely to falter from these origins. As a result, the team, stakeholders and leader are more likely to succeed when the confidence originates from these sources.


As a Christian, I base my confidence first and foremost on my Faith. In other words, as long as my decisions and actions are aligned with my Faith, I remain confident in the future. This does not mean every decision is a Faith-based decision, but as long as it does not counter my Faith beliefs, I am confident in the future. Leaders with confidence based on their Faith are least likely to falter or waiver.


Unlike confidence based on a leader alone, confidence based on a team does not easily falter or fail. This confidence is driven by a group of individuals who work together to drive success. Based upon many, compensation for faltering of an individual can occur. In other words, you help each other succeed. When you have a great team, you know this and are more likely to win than a group that depends upon a single individual.

Confidence is critical for leaders. You shouldn’t hide fear and you must remain transparent. However, you need confidence to encourage followers. To maximize the impact of your confidence and leadership, ensure your confidence originates from a good source.

Question: Are there other good – or bad – origins of confidence?