Leadership Confidence – Richard Branson

Fearlessness and confidence are not just personality traits of passionate leaders – they are a way of life.  They approach all decisions with a swagger borne from past successes.  And each new personal or professional venture, even if it is a failure, is embraced like a lost child, and always welcomed home.

Passionate leaders are risk takers, and as such, invite the possibility – even the likelihood – of failure.  These leaders see a failure as nothing more than an inconvenience rather than a catastrophe.  It is but a learning tool, or a fork in the road.  Recovery for a passionate leader is swift, and direct, and focused.  Passionate leaders typically have several professional “eggs” in their basket so if one egg breaks, there are several more ready to hatch.  Perhaps the most remarkable facet of these leaders and their personal disappointments is how they quickly acknowledge the disappointment, mourn it briefly, and move on to the next grand opportunity. 

The passionate leader’s fearlessness is the catalyst for their success.  Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest professional basketball player to ever play the game, says “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.  I’ve lost almost 300 games.  26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.  I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.  And that is why I succeed.”  An innate competitive fire coupled with remarkable competence inspire the passionate leader to “play through” the difficult times.

Passionate leaders derive great satisfaction not only from successful ventures, but also from giving every ounce of energy to the pursuit of a dream.  Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines echoes those sentiments.  “We’ve got an engaging, edgy, vibrant, fun product.  It may or may not work, but we’re going to give it our best shot.”  The “Virgin” brand is known and respected globally, but Branson, like Jordan, can count many notable failures among all those successes.  Those failures were nothing more than speed bumps to an action adventure guy like Branson.  Passionate leaders overcome failure by never losing their momentum.  Failure may make them pause, but it never stops their forward progress.

You can read more about Richard Branson here

Passionate leaders who advocate or espouse working without a net are championing teambuilding and togetherness in the workplace.  The circus high wire performer who has no safety net is dependent on his coworkers and teammates to have all equipment in top working order.  This interdependency inspires each professional contributor to understand the value of their individual effort and its impact on the final outcome.  Likewise, today’s leaders understand that even though they may walk the corporate tightrope alone, their success depends on countless other lesser-known performers whose contributions are vital and essential.

Fearlessness and confidence are as contagious as any virus, and just as potent too.  The passionate leader who lives life this way, imparts these characteristics to coworkers and direct reports.  In the final analysis, these visionary “go to” players always want to take the final shot but always needs someone to pass the ball to them.  Their nose for career success and their competitive fire keep them on the cutting edge.  Their desire to share their next great adventure drives them to build and maintain great support teams.

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