10 Tips on How to Be a Confident Business Leader

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By Dexter Lunde

Being a confident business leader is the mark of a truly successful businessman. Even if you aren’t the CEO of the company that you work for, confidence instills (in others) that you know what you are doing and that will lead to more opportunities and even promotions.

#1) Keep Training

You may be the best in your field. You may have a PhD from Stanford’s School of Business. You may have awards all over your wall like sequins on a wedding dress from the 80’s. No matter how proficient you are in your field, you have to keep training.

The world of business changes drastically every year. In order to keep up with the trends, you have to keep reading and you have to keep training.

#2) Know Your Stuff

You have to know your stuff. Even if you’re not the best in your field, pretend that you are. At that point in time, fake until you make it. Read up on the basics of everything in your field and work your way up. Be informed. Know the facts and be confident in those facts. If someone tries to rebut you, show them proof and stick to your guns. If you are wrong, admit it and swiftly move on to the next topic.

#3) Stay Hydrated

Did you know that your brain is made up of 80% water? That means that if you’re dehydrated, your brain is too and then you start to lose brain function. So in order to stay at the top of your game, you need to stay hydrated.

Keep a water bottle at your desk next to your laptop or computer. Every time you notice the water bottle sitting there, take a drink. You’ll be surprised just how much water you can drink every day.

#4) Get Enough Sleep

Successful and confident businessmen are always bringing their A-game. That means, you’re alert and ready to start the day – every day. Even on Mondays.

You may feel like you need 3 or 4 cups of coffee a day to keep up the momentum and if you do, that means that you’re not getting enough rest and that you’re caffeine dependent. Too much caffeine can render you immune to its awesome powers (which basically means that it won’t work as well). Because of this, you may drink more and more cups every day.

So if you’re drinking 3 or 4 cups a day, start weaning yourself down to 1 or 2 cups (that’s a healthy amount). Have one in the morning and have one as a pick-me-up in the afternoon. Use other (healthier) alternatives to coffee: a serving of almonds, blueberries, raspberries, etc. Drink a glass of water (caffeine also dehydrates you so for every cup of coffee, drink a glass of water). Even taking a stroll around the office should wake you up.

In addition to those things, get to bed earlier. Turn off the TV at least a half an hour prior to heading to bed. The same goes for other electronic devices. Do something else for that last half an hour: read a book, reflect on your day, or create a to-do list for the next day.

#5) Practice Your Handshake

Keep your greetings gender-neutral. Have a nice, slightly firm handshake. Think confident. Don’t grasp a woman’s hand by the fingers, give her a hearty handshake like you would a man. As for a handshake with a businessman, no death grips.

#6) Control Your Stress Level

Know that you can’t control everything. As such, there are certain situations that you’ll have to let go (even if you don’t want to). Instead of lingering with that problem, cut your losses, learn from the situation, and swiftly move on. Remember that you are only in control of your actions and reactions.

#7) Public Speaking

Don’t like public speaking? Start signing up as the head of a presentation committee. Good public speaking techniques are essential. Work on your voice. When you are speaking, talk to the person in the back of the room so that everyone can hear you. Scan the crowd and (as you get more comfortable with being in front of people) learn to gauge their reactions and act accordingly without straying from your topics.

#8) Self-Image

Confidence and arrogance are two (very) different things. Acknowledging your accomplishments is a sign of confidence. Playing toward and with your strengths is also a sign of confidence. A feeling of entitlement is a sign of arrogance. Know these things and make sure that you are checking on these traits every day.

#9) Remember to Exercise

Exercising is a great way to stay in shape (which leads to even more confidence), give your brain healthy doses of oxygen, and keeps your health in check. A healthy businessman is a happy businessman after all. Aerobic exercise and running have been proven to help your brain make new brain cells in the parts of the brain which deal with learning and memory.

#10) Plan Ahead

You won’t be able to predict everything that could possibly happen. However, if you are as prepared as you can be and in the right state of mind, surprises won’t be as detrimental and nerve-wracking as it could be. So make a plan, try to picture different scenarios that may happen, and try to be flexible with those plans. Having a back-up plan is always a plus.