The Power of Certainty: How Conviction Wins in Leadership

Quote by Karen Ann Bulluck. Certainty is that quiet conviction that instills confidence in others without you even saying a word. Picture of Karen and Daring to Transcend logo
Is confidence enough for women leaders or do you need certainty? Certainty instills greater confidence in others and in yourself. Check out these tips for creating more certainty in your leadership.

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The Power of Certainty: How Conviction Wins in Leadership

Confidence is not arrogance; it’s owning your abilities and leading with conviction.

Yet, so often as women leaders, we worry about crossing that line into arrogance.

  • We worry about being “too much” because we’ve probably been told that we are.
  • We worry about overstating our abilities because we don’t want to fail or let others down.
  • We worry about claiming power because we might step on someone else’s toes.
  • We worry about not being collaborative and cooperative.

So, we play it safe. We stay smaller, less visible, and less confident because we don’t want to be seen as arrogant or overbearing, even though the same behaviors in men are often applauded.

It’s time to stop.

You know you’re not arrogant.

You wouldn’t be as successful as you are if you were arrogant. You also wouldn’t be as successful as you are if you didn’t have some degree of confidence in yourself.

But is your confidence enough?

Because the reality is that you need more than confidence.

You need Certainty.

Certainty is the cornerstone of effective leadership. When you fully believe in yourself, others will too.

What’s the difference? According to Merriam-Webster:

Confidence: a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers

Certainty: something that is fixed or settled

When you are confident, you are conscious of your own abilities. When you are certain, you know without a doubt what your capabilities are.

Certainty is absolute conviction. You know it. You own it. You embody it. Whatever “it” happens to be for you.

You don’t need external validation.

You don’t need to flaunt it.

Certainty is that quiet conviction that instills confidence in others without you even saying a word.

So, are you confident or are you certain?

What are your strengths? What do you know about yourself and your abilities with 100% conviction?

What are you only “confident” about? And how can you change that confidence into conviction and certainty?

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Write them down. Write down what you are certain about yourself and your abilities. Write down what you are confident about.
  2. Compare the lists.
  3. What similarities are there between items on the “certain” list versus the “confident” list? Are they similar enough that you can claim them with certainty?
  4. Where are there gaps? What abilities, skills, and talents are you merely confident about? Why? Do you need to take steps to strengthen them? Or do you just need to change your beliefs about them?
  5. Ask a trusted friend or advisor to review your list. Do they agree or not agree with your assessment? My guess is that he or she will be more certain than you are about your capabilities. She may even add a few more items to one or both of the lists.

Certainty does not mean that you have to know everything or have all the answers. Certainty doesn’t mean that you don’t listen to other people.

In fact, when you are certain about your strengths, it’s easier to listen to others and get others’ input because you don’t feel the need to defend yourself.

Certainty is not about being “right” all the time. That’s arrogance.

Certainty is knowing what you can do, what you’re great at, and what you’re not as good at. Certainty, unlike arrogance, leaves room for cooperation, collaboration, and innovation because you have nothing to prove.

What are you certain about your leadership?

It’s time to start showing it. I’ll explore ways to do that in next week’s article.

For this week, I challenge you to start transforming some of your confidence into certainty.

If you want to learn more about opportunities for creating more certainty in your leadership, check out my new masterclass: TRANSCENDENT LEADERSHIP FOR WOMEN.

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