Canada is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2017 (referred to as its sesquicentennial anniversary – repeat that four times) and the national broadcast network has been running a series recapping the nation’s history. A recent episode described the achievements of Elsie McGill, the world’s first woman to earn an aeronautical engineering degree. During WWII, Elsie oversaw operations in the construction of 1400 Hawker Hurricane combat aircraft for the RAF.
During this segment, Jim Balsillie (at one time the co-CEO of Blackberry’s Research in Motion) said of Elsie McGill: “ You look to the leader to give everybody confidence. If you give people confidence, they can handle what’s coming.”
That’s what you do. Take a moment to be proud. You inspire your staff to be confident. You inform your clients to be confident.
But there’s a ‘but’. Confidence is hollow if it is not informed with a plan and a strategy that produce results. Otherwise, it’s just bluster. Confidence comes when benchmarks are set and met. Faith in confidence comes when the benefits of the plan or strategy are realized and seen as contributing to the greater good.
Your team and your clients are continually watching and weighing your leadership and guidance and the confidence it inspires. It is an incredible responsibility, which probably accounts for why there are fewer leaders than followers. But you knew that going in. Your vision inspired you to take a leap of faith, to seriously shift, and to summon others to follow your lead. Like Elsie, you execute based on your knowledge, your plan, your strategy, your deadlines and your team.
Continue on making things fly. That’s why you’re needed. That’s why you’ve valued.
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