Are you certain or confident?
Those are two different things.
My friend, today we’re going to lay down what that difference is and why it’s important.
We’ll talk about what it means to you and how you can become a better leader for your home service company, for your team, for the strategic partners you work with, and everybody that you impact and influence.
This is a very important thing for leaders to accomplish.
Let’s start changing the game.
Look At Your Past Of Confidence
The first thing I want to kick off with is when we think about confidence and certainty; we look at history.
We look at our personal history.
Are we self-confident?
Do we have healthy self-esteem?
Now I want you to be aware of this certainty because certainty can be a little bit dangerous.
And I’m going to share a little more about that as we take our walk together here today.
I was recently exposed to this idea called revisionist history.
I’m studying some history about how the United States was formed and how basically all of North America came to be populated.
I learned different things like that between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and some different things that have taken place.
I’ve been studying history, and there’s this kind of concept called revisionist history.
It’s where we end up remembering and writing down history the way we want it to be remembered.
It may or may not have kind of happened that way, but it’s different things, different thoughts, and different ways.
I want you to be mindful of your revisionist history about yourself.
Studies have proven that every time I recall a situation from my past, it changes.
I want you to think about your childhood.
Have you ever driven by the home you grew up in or the home you spent some time with as a child?
In your mind, you just remember it’s this big house.
And we had this huge living room, and it’s where me and my sister played.
Then my room was downstairs, and her room was upstairs.
This must have been a huge house.
Now I go drive back by it, and I’m like: “Hh my gosh, it was three stories, but it was like 200 square feet per story. We lived in like six or 700 square feet.”
I recalled it differently than it was.
Seek The Truth Of Confidence Vs. Certainty
I want you to think about when you recall history, make sure that you’re as factual and truthful as you can be both ways:
Either it was worse than it was, or it’s better than it was.
Either way can be a bit different or dangerous.
But I want you to remember to look at your past and realize where your success has come from.
A lot of the time, it came from you as a leader and your leadership skills.
But there’s probably an equal or greater amount of time where it came from something else.
There’s this saying:
If you’re in a leader and you’ve kind of caught a good run and the market’s been pretty solid, it’s not all you.
Our entire industry was very blessed by COVID.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not talking about this illness and death and other areas where people have suffered.
I’m not minimizing those of you that struggled out there, but most of the home service industry has done exceptionally well.
This has also given some false certainty, possibly some days ahead and some different things that we have.
Confidence Vs. Certainty
Remember, there’s a big difference between being confident and being certain.
If I’m confident, I know that I’m fallible.
I know I can make a mistake.
I know that I will not make decisions with perfection, but I can make good decisions and provide good direction.
It’s one of the reasons probably that I hammer “Progress, Not Perfection” literally in our conference room at headquarters.
We’ve got an art piece that one of our clients sent us that says “progress over perfection” on it because I beat that so much.
And this is one of the most dominant companies in the country that subscribe to that belief.
As they continue to grow, it’s not about being perfect.
It’s about making some progress.
The challenge is a leader that is a hundred percent certain ignores the information.
So if I’m certain, if I have a hundred percent certainty, I’m not willing to look at any different things.
It’s important that when we have beliefs or are a hundred percent certain about something, we at least question them.
We need to take time and make sure that it’s not confirmation bias or buying into revisionist history about our life.
Be careful if you think this or do this unconsciously:
“I’m going to surround myself with people that think like me and situations that reinforce that whether it’s good or bad or whatever.”
Listen To Others
Be aware of the signs and what others are saying.
Do they question you? Are you open to that questioning?
Do you have “all the answers” or brush off challenges?
Confident leaders tackle the hard issues and questions.
They aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong or turn to other experts.
You might want to be mindful of this team leader.
Or any job, manager, sales lead, or whatever it is; if you’re too certain, you’re going to put blinders on.
I want you to be mindful of that because as a leader, when you’re creating change, we’ve got our certainty, and we’ve got our confidence.
Uncertainty comes into play too.
You’re going to meet resistance, but are you confident once you work through it, or are you certain?
That’s the key.
So if you’re good at sales and you’re a leader, you’ll get your team to buy in, right or wrong.
It’s your responsibility to make sure the decisions you make are the right ones, or at least on the right track.
And a huge part of that is confidence balanced with the ability to listen to others.
It’s good to make mistakes and tweak things here and there.
You might have to ask certain questions in certain ways.
I’m confident about that.
But once you begin, do you become so certain that you’re not willing to listen and be mindful?
It’s not a matter of questioning yourself or lowering your self-confidence or self-worth.
I’m just saying that be mindful because I’m a big proponent of confidence.
I love it. We talked a bit about confidence cash in the article on stress response management.
Check it out if you haven’t; it’s a great one.
What Most Leaders Fear: Failure
A lack of confidence is a challenge for leaders, but even more interesting is the leader with a hundred percent certainty is terrified of failure.
Because when they fail, they’ll blame something, anything else.
- A specific team member
- Their whole team
- The environment or market
- The economy
- A lack of training
- A competitor
I want you to think as leaders in home service:
Our team is looking for us to guide them, lead them, and not be perfect or have everything nailed down and know exactly what will happen.
Everybody knows that’s not real, but here’s what is reality:
When we think about passion and certainty, don’t confuse the two.
When you think about confidence and certainty, don’t confuse the two.
As you think about certainty and enthusiasm, don’t confuse the two.
If I’m confident, then I’m inviting my team in.
I’m inviting the client in.
If I’m leading change, then I’m inviting the opposition in.
Confidence is an open conversation, and it sounds scary at first, right?
It’s much simpler to just be certain, make all the decisions, and then blame something else when it goes wrong.
But it doesn’t work for your team or business or clients, and in the end, you’re selling yourself short.
Confidence Invites Greatness In
I want to invite people into the conversation.
People will listen.
Maybe they’ll give feedback.
They’ll jump in some of those different types of things.
Certainty, however, excludes people.
If I’m looking to try to get somebody to help me in collaboration and I act like I know all the answers, no one will want to join in.
No one will want to make the group stronger.
Who wants to just sit there and listen to someone else talk about their greatness for hours.
Not me. Not you.
If I’m confident, then people want to come around me.
If I’m certain, then there’s no room for new ideas.
Does that make sense?
Be careful with your certainty because at the end of the day:
What do we know? What do we know?
If I’m too certain, I put blinders on.
If I’m confident, then I can open myself up and realize there’s an effort there for me.
A COVID Experience Of Certainty Vs. Confidence
I know I had this experience when COVID first hit before we knew how serious it would get.
I’m the guy that said I would never cancel a live event for anything.
It’s not going to happen.
I’m streaming live saying, “We’re not canceling the event.”
This thing’s heating up this and that, but we’re still having our four academies in five weeks scheduled.
No, we’re not canceling anything.
No, we’re going to move forward.
I was certain we wouldn’t close down.
(Can you see where this is going?)
Literally, the next day everything shut down.
Not only did it come out how dangerous this was, but t’s became illegal.
We’ve got to change our game.
I fell for that trap of certainty at first. Yes, I still do, even after all my coaching and decades of experience.
But when it really came down to it, I changed my plan.
I listened to those around me; I was open and acted with confidence.
Did I claim to know all the answers? Heck no. Still don’t.
But my team and I were able to move and react and be flexible. Something we would not have been able to still if we attempted to plow ahead with our “certainty.”
Through that uncertainty, we completely remodeled, remade, and changed all the different things of offerings for our clients and for our members.
We really dug deep.
Act With Confidence In The Face Of Uncertainty
When I got in front of my team, I said:
Here’s what I do know: This’ll be one of the greatest things that ever happened to Blue Collar as a business and this team. And what I know is that will happen. What I don’t know is anything that’s going to happen between now and then. I’m completely uncertain. The world is uncertain. I don’t have any certainty to offer you, but I got a ton of confidence. I believe in myself. And I believe in each of you.
And we did just that. We were able to offload some talent that wasn’t on board with us.
We were able to acquire some phenomenal talent through this process and really up-level everybody’s opportunity to play the game full out.
Uncertainty is a part of life. It will happen.
We can react to it in different ways, but as leaders, we too easily fall into the trap of certainty.
We don’t know all the answers.
Are you certain or confident?
Be confident and open. Bring people in.
Change the world and your team in your industry.
Certainty is a trap for those who fear failure.
Don’t fear it; learn from it.
Be the model of you living your best life and your primary purpose in your home service industry, and you’ll be amazed at how many on your team follow suit.
Now go, be confident, and make it a better-than-fantastic day!