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A rare yet important leadership skill

What are the top three skills that you think leaders should demonstrate?

The one I am sharing today is likely not on your list.

However, it is a trait that I am adding to my list today!

It’s the rare yet valuable trait of having conviction.

This is such an underrated skill.

Conviction means that you have firmly held beliefs or opinions.

There are two main reasons why many leaders lack conviction.

1. They are afraid to make an unpopular decision.

Having conviction means that you make decisions that align with your beliefs. Yet, many leaders know exactly what they need to do but still do not act.

For example, I have a client who knew he needed to pull someone off a project. However, he did not take action as he was afraid to hurt his colleagues’ feelings. At the end of the day, avoiding this tough yet necessary decision hurt everyone on the project. The project deliverables were delayed, and the client was not happy.

2. They are wishy-washy.

Wishy-washy people are often really nice. When not committing to a tough decision, they think they are keeping the peace. However, their lack of clarity decreases trust with their colleagues. I have always said that clear expectations trump wishy-washy any day of the week. I would rather some say “no” to a request than “maybe.”

Having conviction and making decisions is part of your job as a leader.

My client, Carrie, is such an excellent example of this trait.
All of her decisions are guided by her values.
She has a very strong compass about what is right and what is wrong.
Plus, she consistently makes decisions based on her moral compass, even ones that might be unpopular.

In fact, she recently told me the story about the first person she fired.
This person was not achieving his goals; he was not working hard, and his work was of poor quality. However, this person was fun, very popular with his peers and was friends with many people on her team.

Carrie still fired him.

His friends at the office were displeased with Carrie for letting him go.
But to this day, she is totally comfortable with her decision.
She knows it was the right one for the business and the overall morale of her team.

Carrie has no regrets.

Sure, she was sad that some of her colleagues were mad at her.
But at the end of the day, she sleeps well at night, knowing that her decision was the right one.

Having conviction is extremely important for leaders.
It will build high trust on your team.
It will ensure that you are all moving towards a common goal.
Plus, you will sleep well at night knowing that your decisions align with your values!

Vanessa Judelman

Vanessa Judelman is an author, coach, and sought-after leadership expert. Over the past 20 years, she has created a proven formula to develop results-oriented leaders who feel empowered and confident in their job. Vanessa is the author of Mastering Leadership: What It Takes to Lead in Today’s Fast-Paced World. Order your copy here.

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