Think of the leaders you have followed in your lifetime. Did you have confidence in them? Did you trust them? Did they help you feel secure and optimistic about the future?

In their research, Tom Rath and Barry Conchie asked over 10,000 followers what they need from a leader in order to follow them. The clear answer was: stability, hope, trust, and compassion.

In order to persuade your team and others to follow you, you need to communicate messages that instil confidence in:

  • the stability of today
  • the hope of tomorrow; and
  • in you as the leader who will nurture and guide them to success.


Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs tells us we all need to feel safe and secure. The same is true of your team. They need to feel confident that they are safe and secure in their jobs, in their position on your team and in the business overall. It’s pretty hard to stay focused, engaged and productive if you are living with the fear of change, the threat of redundancy, or the company going under!

Instil confidence by…communicating messages that convey stability. Even if you are going through tough times, you can still convey strength and a clear plan of attack to navigate these challenges and come out the other side.


Your team also wants hope. They want to feel confident about their own future and in the future of your business. Without hope for the future, your team will feel like they’re swimming in circles. They will lack focus, direction and confidence in their long-term prospects.

Instil confidence by…communicating messages that talk about the big picture, The future you want to create. The vision you have for your team; the direction you’ll take and the strategy you’ll employ. Don’t just talk about the opportunities. Remember to communicate the challenges that lie ahead and how, together, you will prepare to meet and overcome these obstacles.


Lastly, your team needs to feel confident in you as their leader – the person who will empower them and guide them to success. They need to know that you are in it for the long haul. That you understand their hopes, fears, wants and needs. That you genuinely care about them as individuals. That you have their backs and that will do all you can to help them succeed. That they can trust you to have their best interests at heart.

Instil confidence by…remembering that actions speak louder than words. This is a prime instance where what you do will communicate far more than what you say. It’s not enough to simply tell your team you care about them or they can trust. You need to show them in order for your team to feel and believe it.

Final thoughts

Remember, as a leader, you are always sending signals that communicate something. So start tuning in. Use your words, voice, body language and your actions together to purposefully communicate messages that instil your team’s confidence in today, tomorrow and in you as their leader. If you can do this, then your team will be far more likely to follow you on your journey, avoiding a lonely leadership walk.

To find out what other messages you should be communicating to your team, book a FREE messaging session!