Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Confidence and Success For You and Your Team

Confidence increases with success!“Nothing succeeds like success.” That thought by Sir Arthur Helps in the 1860s is still true, and can be applied to you as a leader and to your team or work group.  

• Look for opportunities to point out successes and accomplishments. Say the words that emphasize what they have accomplished. (“Look at how much you got done in a short amount of time!” “Wow! Not one mistake!” “Very impressive!” “You guys did a great job.”)

• Mention the value of the team as well as the contributions of individuals when you commend formally or informally. (“This shows what we can do.” “This kind of work certainly shows the value of our unit.”)

• Be specific about what made a project or activity successful and give status to those positive actions. (“Tom and Ryan made a promise to themselves about this and look what they accomplished!”)

• Point out obstacles that were overcome or potential problems that were avoided. (“Shannon could have gotten frustrated over the confusion and given up, but she kept working and brought people together. That’s what got the great results.”)

 • Help your team see that they had what it took to be effective–and they will have even more the next time. (“These are the things that show what we can do.” “This kind of quality is what sets us apart.” “We can be the best of the best.”)

As your group gains confidence in themselves they will gain confidence in you, if you are an active part of their work-life. That is how all successful teams are developed: Leaders work to simultaneously develop confidence and success.  The team sees that the requirements, expectations–and sometimes the adamant insistence–of the leader, helps them achieve good things. It all works together!

More than confidence: On the other hand, Mark Twain once commented, “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”  It isn’t enough to just develop confidence within your work group–they have to have the knowledge and skills to be effective. That also points to the approach you should take about formal or informal training: Give participants a vision of how it will help them be successful–and the confidence they can have as a result.

David Storey, the English playwright, said, “Have confidence that if you can do a little thing well, you can do a bigger thing well, too.”  Look for the small triumphs and accomplishments in everyday work and help employees see that by working together and working with you, they can do it again–even better. Help build their faith in you, themselves and the team. It’s a great feeling and gets great results.

November 18th, 2009 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development, Supervision and Management | 5 comments


  1. When I worked for the St.Louis school district my director, Ed Stottel, made us all feel special. He used to to say he felt sorry for anyone who didn’t work in our division. It was very motivating and I still remember the pride we all felt.

    Comment by B.I. | November 19, 2009

  2. I have the Army Corps of Engineer’s Motto in our main work area. “The difficult we do right away, the impossible takes a little longer.”

    Comment by Wiseacre | November 19, 2009

  3. I REALLY agree with you that you shouldn’t build pride when a group or people in it aren’t doing good work. A manager in our department built espirit de corps, but his group acted like they weren’t part of the bigger picture. That manager retired and the new one had a tough job convincing the group they weren’t perfect after all.

    Is that a real photo you used or photoshopped, or do you know?

    Comment by M.C.K. | November 20, 2009

  4. Tina says: Thanks for the comments!

    To M.C.K.: That photo is real and was taken by my son-in-law, Casey McCorison, at an outdoor concert we attended. One of the attractions was a demonstration of bike tricks. Very impressive—but scary! However, much of that is a matter of perspective. The young man is upside down and high in the air, but not actually over a tree–it just looks that way! 🙂

    Comment by TLR | November 20, 2009

  5. Hi Tina! I heard the class in Colorado Springs on Challenging Employees was good and fun as usual. Guess who reported on you?

    Phyllis is wonderful for helping people gain confidence in themselves. She gives them your advice about building a reputation one action at a time.

    I’m on nights until December 1st, then back on days. I volunteered to help out someone who needed to switch. Ciao!

    Comment by denisek | November 21, 2009

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