Perhaps the most powerful four words in leadership are “I believe in you.”
As I reflect on my journey in life, the people who stand out in my mind as those who transformed me weren’t necessarily the best teachers or communicators. Some of them weren’t even very good at managing despite being labeled Managers. But, either in words or actions, they communicated clearly to me that they believed in me and it made a huge impact on me (an incidentally, I am fiercely loyal to these people).
My parents believed in me and therefore it never occurred to me that anything was beyond my reach.
My first mentor believed that a 26 year old could build a successful business even though the concept represented a fairly radical new way of doing business.
My boss believed that an entrepreneur could be a great corporate HR Director despite never having held a “corporate gig” in the past.
My CEO believed that I could find a way to be a great corporate leader and pursue dreams of professional speaking and writing at the same time.
My wife believed that I was capable of more so she encouraged me to leave a high paying corporate job to pursue my entrepreneurial passions despite the monumental risks.
The people in my life have been very generous to me with their belief in me. Despite how much self-confidence we have, when someone else who we respect expresses a belief in us, it provides the motivation to live up to those beliefs and prove them write.
When was the last time you told someone else that you believed in them? Don’t miss your opportunity as a leader to give this gift to others. There four simple words could change someone’s life–your employee, a friend, your child, a volunteer, your spouse. They might just reward you with loyalty. Give belief away freely.
I believe in you.