"There are three words a skipper never says,' I don't know'. Those three words will kill a crew as fast as a torpedo. You are the skipper because you do know, the skipper always knows." Said to Mathew McConaughey by Harvey Kietel in the film U-571. Self-confidence is the most important trait of a good leader. Self-confidence is what others look to when they look to a leader. A self-confident leader is a powerful leader that always has an answer to the follower's questions and always knows which direction to go. In the following paragraphs I will: define and describe self-confidence, explain why I picked it, describe how it works in action, describe an individual that embodies this quality and illustrate how self-confidence works in action. Self-confidence is the deal breaker of leaders, because the skipper always knows.
According to dictionary.com, self-confidence is freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your abilities. Our textbook better defines self-confidence as assurance in one's own judgments, decision-making, ideas, and capabilities. A leader with a positive self-image who displays certainty about his or her own ability fosters confidence among followers, gains respect and admiration, and meets challenges. The confidence a leader displays and develops creates motivation and commitment among followers for the mission at hand. This is a great definition, however, the meaning behind the definition is not why I consider self-confidence to be the most important trait, because having the appearance of confidence is just as important. In the above example, Mathew McConaughey's character had no idea how they planned on getting out of the situation they were in and his crew wanted to know what they were going to do. He answers I don't know. This is the correct answer in honesty. What he should have said was, "man your stations give me reports on all the areas of the submarine while I plot a course for us to get out of...
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