10 Reasons Why Leaders Need a Confidant
Leaders are called to be courageous. And Confident, yet constantly humble. Being Confident is important. But change out the "e" for an "a" in confident, and this is also a huge need for leaders: A CONFIDANT.
Dictionary.com defines Confidant as "a close friend or associate to whom secrets are confided or with whom private matters and problems are discussed." Every leader I know needs a Confidant.
So here are a few thoughts on leaders having a confidant:
- This is not someone on your team who reports to you or is a peer.
- This is not your boss. And for non-profit and church leaders, this is probably not someone on your board.
- This is probably not a family member, since family members seem to only see one side and not the whole picture.
- Make sure it's someone with honesty and integrity, who you are 100% sure won't talk to anyone else about what you are sharing. Loose lips sink ships.
- It is someone you can rely on, share with, lean into for tough decisions, gripe about things, and receive counsel from.
- There are lots of executive coaches out there. And I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea for your executive coach or life coach to potentially be a confidant. But ideally, your confidant is not someone you pay to help you.
- A confidant doesn't make decisions for you; he or she ADVISES you. Don't allow your confidant to be your final decision maker.
- Nothing to gain -- make sure your confidant is not motivated one way or the other by the outcome of your decisions. For example, as a professional athlete, many look to their agents as their confidants, but ultimately that can be a bit risky, since the agent's job is to get more money for the athlete, thus gaining more money himself or herself.
- Confidants are more for listening than they are talking. Advice and counsel many times can be best given by being a sounding board than by a clanging gong.
- Start early in your career. You don't need to be a CEO or a president to have a confidant. As a leader, having an outside voice to give advice at any level in the organization is helpful.