For more than 25 years I have had the pleasure and honor of interviewing incredible Latina and Latino role models. Some are known internationally and others are doing outstanding local community efforts and working against incredible personal and surrounding barriers.
Their stories and experiences has had an incredible impact on my outlook on life. I have also been working on trying to identify the personal skills that they share in common and share them with persons and organizations who are working to improve their own lives as well as those dedicated to helping others to become leaders and succeed.
The first of eight of the main qualities that they learned that role models share in common is a defined and clear sense of self-confidence.
I have learned that role models are thus leaders. The group that they manage and direct can be large in numbers. Others direct organizations that are small in number but it's a solidified group that accomplishes a great deal. As leaders they share their confidence to others and select others who are also confident.
These persons are leaders because they have the self-confidence needed to lead themselves and others, if necessary.
One can gain insight on the concept of self confidence by reversing the term to read "confidence self" or better stated "confidence of self". The key term is the concept of self. These individuals have a strong self to be what I personally refer to as constructive selfishness.
They do what's right, despite what others think or suggest, because they want to.
Members in their surrounding may counsel and tell them that it can't or shouldn't be done. The result is that they do it anyway because they want to.
Leaders are comfortable working and being alone. Being alone actually provides them time to think and plan their goals and strategies. They like being in groups but don't depend on them to get their mission started. It is difficult to scare self-confident persons because there is little to frighten them with and thus stop them. They share about having and wrestling with their personal fears and may even discuss them openly but they are keenly aware that they will not be paralyzed nor diverted from their goals by them.
Their personal stories normally raise the issue of how often -- as they started on their goals -- found themselves surrounded by persons who entered their lives and took their precious time to try to stop them from moving forward. As one presenter mentioned to me, there are persons who don't have much going in their lives by personal choice yet they have plenty of time to discourage others.
Self-confident people find motivation and encouragement primarily from within. It's not to say they don't accept recommendations and support from others but they are willing to proceed forward with their plan even if they don't constantly get encouraging words from others. Their creative selfishness helps them to succeed even when everyone else believes that they can see that it cannot be done.
Self-confidence is at the root of leadership and success.
Armando F. Sanchez:
Armando Sanchez serves as national print, electronic and digital media spokesperson on the topics of Latino learners and academic achievement. He is a sought after national and bilingual speaker on the topic of leadership and success. Author's website Email the author