From Potential to Excellence: A Formula for Building Confident and Resilient Teams 

CEO Insights

I’m sure you have said, heard, and thought many times about the phrase “he/she/they have so much potential!”. Potential is a very expansive word. Does it mean someone has the talent and capability to achieve more, but they don’t have motivation to put in effort to achieve, or do they not have coaching to help inspire them to pursue more, or maybe they don’t have an example in front of them to help them build belief?  Some words that could define potential are capability, possibility, ability, and aptitude. We all have so much divine greatness “potential” untapped in each of us.   

In the workplace potential is maybe best viewed as undeveloped talents that, when developed and encouraged, can lead to significant achievements. As team leaders it is our responsibility to recognize and cultivate each team member’s unique possibilities.  By identifying an individual’s strengths and abilities and then providing an environment to help them grow, develop, and expand their skills is very rewarding for us as coaches. It is so much more fulfilling for leaders to become a positive influence for personal and professional excellence rather than critics of performance and the things that someone can’t do.  

The challenge for a coach is to create a culture where potential isn’t a negative attribute but is a strength for transforming unmet expectations into success stories of achievement and empowerment.  

Recognizing Individual Team Members with Low Self-Confidence 

Do you have team members that seem hesitant to take on new challenges? Are some consistently reluctant to voice their opinions during meetings? Knowing your team and recognizing low self-confidence in team members is invaluable for team growth and inspiration. Common signs of team members who lack self-confidence include:  

  • Avoiding risk-taking or decision making.  
  • Minimal participation in interactive discussions.  
  • Reluctance to lead projects or groups.  
  • A tendency to agree without expressing their own views.  
  • Fear of failure in taking certification exams or anything where pass/fail is involved.  

My first job out of college was in a big corporation and being from a small town I checked every one of these boxes on self-confidence weaknesses. I was a small fish in a big pond.  For me, as with many others, it can indicate a person’s lack of belief in their own abilities and ideas as I was thinking the other people I worked with were much more talented and experienced. I forgot one of the greatest assets a person can have is your ability to have relentless drive and determination.  Through constant challenge, encouragement, reassurance, and guidance some amazing positive results can be achieved. Recognizing similar tendencies in your organization’s team members is a great start toward supporting and empowering your team to greatness.  By helping team members become more productive and effective you can raise the entire team’s morale.  

Cultivating a Culture of Trust and Open Communication 

Many leaders say, “My door is always open,” but is that the real solution? As a leader are you skilled in open communication? Having an open-door policy can be good but it can put leaders in a reactive mode. A bandage approach to addressing issues with team members is less productive than proactively planning and preventing challenges in the first place.  

Open communication is about being intentional in seeking out information, encouraging visionary thinking, and being available and accessible. Start by setting an example of exhibiting the behaviors you wish to see:  

  • Transparency in decision-making without a hidden agenda.  
  • Owning and acknowledging mistakes -  “I own that.”   
  • Showing genuine interest in team members’ opinions and personal well-being.  
  • Working to solve challenges, not pointing fingers.   
  • Always think in terms of the bigger team.   

Have regular team meetings with a prepared agenda and purpose not just meeting for the sake of meeting. One-on-one sessions are a great way to personalize and reinforce a culture of trust and open communication. Encourage your team members to lead these meetings.  This gives team members the opportunity to build self-confidence while also giving them the floor to present any roadblocks or concerns they may have. As a leader, your listening, acting on feedback, and implementing team member ideas also strengthens relationships. By valuing different viewpoints, you create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels their contributions are important and valued. Harnessing the collective strength of diverse perspectives creates great ideas and helps boost team morale and drive organizational success.  

Empowering Individuals: The Key to Collective Confidence 

Empowering team members creates an environment where team members are more willing to collaborate with fellow team members, creating a teamwork approach. Empowering leads to an increase in self-confidence, promotes a sense of ownership, and encourages a creative initiative mindset.  When team members feel personally valued for what they bring, they will contribute more and with more energy.  Leveraging team members’ diverse skills, backgrounds and perspectives creates unique solutions and generates positive results. By focusing on team members’ individual strengths, while challenging them with opportunities for growth, you cultivate a team environment where confidence will flourish. Here are some ideas that can help achieve the results:  

  • Personalized development plans. Know your team members’ strengths and customize opportunities to team member’s talents and career goals. Be open and honest if you don’t feel their strengths are capable of their goals and the effort it will take to align them.  A personalized approach shows team members the organization values their distinctive contributions and is invested in their growth and success. As Jim Collins said it is very critical to make sure we have the right person in the right seat on the bus.   
  • Task independence. This is a challenge in our technological world where most everything has a logical process, but by giving team members boundaries and then the independence to complete their daily tasks in their own way of doing gives them independence. By understanding their need for some leeway and trusting their abilities, you will help boost their confidence and encourage creative problem solving.   
  • Regular feedback and recognition. Provide frequent, constructive feedback and recognize accomplishments. Celebrating big and small successes reinforces positive behavior and builds self-esteem. Have a reward system that is intertwined with your daily communication system so that praise and recognition can be easily delivered from all team members to all other members. Sincere praise is something everyone cherishes, enjoys and appreciates, and this type of system can also create more team camaraderie.         
  • Encourage skill-sharing knowledge. Foster an environment where team members share skills and knowledge. This promotes learning and highlights the value of each team member’s expertise. Don’t underestimate the value that each team member, regardless of position, can bring. Knowledge sharing is great at building strong teams. Rising tide raises all ships.    
  • Supportive communication. Maintain purposeful open lines of communication and encourage team members to voice their ideas and concerns without fear of consequences. Don’t be the know-it-all and want to own all ideas.  Be the biggest fan of team members and edify great ideas throughout the organization. This helps ensure everyone feels heard, valued, and like they are a unique part of the team.  

Navigating Challenges: Strengthening Team Resilience 

Guiding individuals and teams through challenges is fundamental for building resilience, transforming setbacks into opportunities for team growth and development. Everyone needs to know there will be challenges, both in business and personal, but how we react to those challenges is what will define an organization.  As a leader your role is to create a workplace environment where obstacles are seen as opportunities through learning mindset. This is a great chance to foster a culture of continuous improvement and collective strength. Here are some ideas:  

  • Build a culture of resilience by looking at challenges as possibilities for greatness. This shift in mindset encourages an upbeat approach to problem solving, while helping teams view obstacles as learning experiences, not just hurdles to overcome. These are great chances for victories.  
  • Candid dialogue by promoting transparent discussions about difficulties so everyone knows what is at stake. This creates a supportive environment where team members are engaged and feel they are part of something special with a mission before them. This fosters a sense of unity and collective problem solving. Crises events can be a common occurrence in technology and security as we get regular calls for these services. These hurdles create great opportunities to grow and build trust in our customer base.   
  • Lead by example will demonstrate strength in your actions and attitudes. By letting your team see how you handle challenges and learn from them, you set a powerful example for your team members, providing them with a practical blueprint for developing their own resilience. Challenges will be solved much more effectively if you are calm, have a plan, empower your trusted team, are a cheerleader for them, and are there with them to support them day or night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Leading by Example: The Impact of Authentic Leadership 

Leaders can show a lack of genuineness in several ways, including:  

  • Inconsistency in words and actions which creates a lack of trust and confidence.  
  • Withholding information or being unclear about decisions and changes.  
  • Not admitting mistakes and creating a culture of blame instead of “I own that.”  
  • Blaming others for situations versus recognizing your lack of leadership.   

A leader’s behavior and attitude are crucial in shaping the organization’s culture and team morale. Through their actions and behavior, strong leaders build a foundation for a trusting and positive work environment. Leaders that acknowledge challenges, share successes, and maintain openness in building team confidence are valued.   

A lack of genuineness can lead to distrust and a decline in team morale. Leading by example, being in trenches with your team, and demonstrating honesty and integrity will inspire team members, boost productivity, and promote a collaborative and resilient team culture that will create a thriving workplace.  

Fostering a Shared Vision and Purpose 

Leaders should encourage a shared vision and purpose that provides direction and a sense of belonging, ensuring everyone understands and is committed to common goals. We call them our 5 WIG’s (Wildly Important Goal’s).  3 of our WIG’s having to do with financial numbers, one with professional and personal development, and one with community contribution through community service for each team member.  An organization is not a balanced success unless you have balance across financial, personal development as well as community engagement. If we hit our WIG’s we have an all-team celebration and bring team members and their families together to enjoy fellowship as a team.     

When everyone understands and believes in the team’s objectives, including involving family members, they can share in the vision and success. Collaboration is enhanced as team members see their individual roles as part of a larger, meaningful journey. A clear, unified vision strengthens team confidence, giving team members (and family) a sense of belonging and a deeper investment in their work. They aren’t just completing tasks; they’re contributing to a shared mission that resonates with team members and families. It creates great team camaraderie and time for celebration and high fives.    

Encouraging Continuous Learning and Growth 

Continuous learning and development that empowers team members to take ownership of their personal and professional growth is important. As they acquire new skills and competencies, team members’ confidence in their abilities increases. This positively impacts their contributions and ensures the team remains relevant and competitive in an ever-changing business landscape. For us, as a technology company, this is vitally important to our long-term competitive existence.   

Focusing on growth and learning fosters a supportive team culture where knowledge sharing, and collaboration are valued. Team members feel more connected and engaged as they see their growth contributing to the team’s success, which is vital for maintaining high morale and motivation.  

When you commit to a culture of continuous learning and growth, you help individuals keep their skills current and build resilience, confidence, and creative thinking. It’s an approach that prepares teams to respond well to change and proactively drive innovation and success. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, we all have so much divine greatness “potential” instilled in each of us. We just need some coaching, belief, encouragement, and extra motivation to achieve this “Greatness.”    

It’s a Journey, Not a Destination 

Confidence can make or break someone’s ability to achieve their goals. A leader’s role is to help their teams build and sustain confidence in their talents and aspirations. Encouraging the unknowns, embracing failures as learning opportunities, and consistently recognizing and valuing the contributions of each team member can create an environment where confidence thrives.  

Since I’m in my maturing years it’s a reminder that confidence-building is an evolving process.  You never get to an age where you just have it. Making it an ongoing priority and creating teams that are equally empowered and successful and along the way, you’ll also enhance your own leadership skills, becoming a model of resilience, adaptability, and inspiration to those who look to you for leadership.  

Preserving Business Continuity:

Our Business Continuity Plan is designed to keep business up and running during any crisis.

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