242 - The Funny Thing About Confidence - John Laurito

242 – The Funny Thing About Confidence

In this episode, host John Laurito talks about the importance of having confidence as a leader. When you’re a leader, it goes without saying that you must show confidence, especially when making decisions. It allows your employees or team to trust you and your leadership. Of course, this will result in organizational growth and foster a good working environment. Otherwise, the lack of confidence will send your business or organization into a downward spiral.

[0:00] Intro

[0:40] Storytime!

[4:06] Here’s the thing about confidence and leadership

[5:42] The importance of confidence

[8:40] Building confidence

[11:54] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been in an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large over the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader-related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito your host, and I said that with a question. John Reader, your host. Am I? Yes, I am, yes, I am, yes. All right, with confidence, yes. I’m your host. OK, that is our topic today is confidence. OK, so let me share a story with you. I was reminded of this recently that happened a long time ago, but it was kind of a funny story worth sharing. 

John So I remember being at a bar with a bunch of friends in Philadelphia, which unfortunately does not exist anymore. I don’t think called Fardeau, which is an Irish pub, which is absolutely a blast. Now, might I know the original one, I think was in D.C. and that was my favorite bar of all time that closed down. I don’t know if the Philly one, so somebody reach out to me and let me know, but I think it did close that event. 

John This was years ago, was there with some friends and I did a little social experiment. So there was a way we were trying to get tables and whatnot and wind up hanging out by the bar and whatnot. And I think there was a big group of us. So maybe, I don’t know, eight or 10 people. And so I decided I wanted to do a little social experiment and I grabbed two menus and I randomly went up to a couple and I said, Are you waiting for a table? And they said, Yes, I said, Okay, great, follow me and I proceeded to walk them around the restaurant just to see how long it would take for them, realize that I didn’t work there and wasn’t the post and was taking them out a little weird, little jaunt through the whole restaurant. 

John So I weave them through the bar. I weave them around the tables around the back and then all the way around the side and then back to the front. So we now at this point have made a full circle. And then I proceeded to take them again a second time through the restaurant. So it’s about them that they realized what it’s like, what’s going on here? And I just was like, I just met somebody who was funny was a good laugh. So but I took them around almost two full times and the whole restaurant before they realized that, OK, this guy does not work here, doesn’t know what he’s doing. 

John So my sister and brother-in-law were there and they were like, Oh, you’ve got to do that. I did it, I think, to a couple more people. So we’re getting a big laugh out of it. And then my sister said, You’ve got to do this guy here. And this was a big guy that was, you know, hanging out by the bar. And so I did the same thing. I went up to him. I said, Excuse me, sir, are you waiting for a table for two? And he said he looked at me kind of puzzle is like, Who are you? And I said I’m the host. I said, I thought you had a table in four to your table is ready if that’s the case. 

John He said, No, you’re not. I said, Yes, I am. He said, No, you’re not, I own this place and I’m like, ahh sorry, man, I’m just kidding around. I’m just having some fun. He’s like, What are you doing?  What are you doing? And I’m literally at this point I’m like, Listen, I’m, you know, just being dumb. This is me. I’m just being stupid, whatever and blah blah blah. And he looks at me like, really puzzled. And then he says, No, I’m just kidding. 

John Your sister just put me up to it. I don’t own this place. I’m like, Wow, you scared the bejesus out of me. But that was really funny. So what I leveraged, which was my confidence and that’s the topic of today, was put back on me and this guy was confident and convinced me that he owned the restaurant. It was funny. But here’s the funny thing is confidence. That’s all I had. I had two menus and confidence and just the desire to, you know, play a funny joke on somebody. But that’s it. I Know I just said hey follow me and people followed. 

John It’s amazing how somebody in any kind of authoritative position. In this case, all I had was two menus and, you know, some swagger, and they followed me even to a place that didn’t make sense, right? Wait a sec. This is a long walk to no table. And now we’re back at the front again, and they came around a second time with no questions. Maybe they were wondering, but they still followed me two loops around the whole restaurant, two loops, rival restaurant. Have you ever gone to a restaurant? Had this the host lead you twice around this big restaurant and still not come up with the table?  It was really funny, but it was a really interesting social experiment at the time. 

John I wasn’t really doing it for that. I was just doing it for a laugh. But of what people will do, how they will follow you. If you have confidence and seem like you’re in a position of authority, then you seem to have something that they want or that you know, something that they don’t know. Bottom line is that they come out of following you in a better position. That’s what it is. That’s what leadership is, right? I mean, it’s just somebody following you because they will come out as a result of following you and. Better position than they went in in this case, they’ll have a table, they didn’t have a table before. 

John You know, we don’t have to follow a host to a table, but we’re not going to get a table unless we do. Right? But confidence is so key. And just think about this, though, there are two lessons. 

John One is the importance of confidence. But secondly is also just understanding does the person that you’re looking to have follow, you understand what’s in it for them? Is it clear when it’s clear and they understand it? What’s in it for them? They will follow you even in times of confusion and it doesn’t even make that much sense. They’ll still follow you because their wish and hope is that they get what’s in it for them. In this case, it was a table. 

John All right, we’ll do two loops around Fardeau restaurant in hopes that this weird dude does have a table for us who were now wondering, Is he really the host? Whatever. That’s how human nature works. If there’s something in it for me. What’s in it for me? If there is something that I get at the end of this journey as a result of following this leader? Great. And part of that is the trust, which, yes, I know I was not very trustful in that situation. 

John But part of it is the trust of this leader knows where to go and how to take us there and that they’ve got our best interests in mind. OK, now this is kind of a funny, goofy story, but just illustrates the point. OK. The bottom line is confidence and conviction are really key. OK, if I said, Hey, uh, if you want to follow me, you can. I don’t really know what. You know, I’ve used the example of the pilot that scared the shit out of me on my trip. Go back to a few episodes. I’ll tell that story again, actually, because it’s worth telling. 

John Again, I think I’ve done a podcast about my crazy trip to North Carolina during a tornado. I’ll go back and check if I haven’t done it, then I will do it as a future episode. But how people talk with confidence really says a lot about it impacts a lot of our willingness to follow somebody, you know, for hemming and hawing. I ask somebody that I was trying to engage in some kind of service, and I asked them the question. I said, Do you think you can help me? This was after I told this person told her my issue and dilemma and whatnot. 

John And she said yes, but she broke eye contact for just a second. And I remember thinking, OK, she doesn’t think she can help me. There was a break in confidence there. She looked away when she answered the question. Yes. Um, and that single moment convinced me, nope. She doesn’t think she can help me or is not as confident she can help me. So I’m not going to go with her. And I didn’t. That was really interesting. I’m just recalling that right now, but I remember that was not that long ago, but that moment of eye contact that was broken convinced me, nope, there’s a lack of confidence that she can truly provide when I’m looking for it. 

John So again, everything else sounded good. But that moment told the story told the tale. So Netivot, how do you build confidence? That’s another issue, another episode that I’ve done before. But just the real quick thing is confidence comes from having one certain which can achieve certain victories, little ones. And literally, you wake up in the morning and don’t hit the snooze button that gives you a sense of control. Right? That control translates into a feeling of strength. Control builds strength. Strength allows you to manage, not overcome, but manage fear. And when you manage fear it encourages you, then it makes you more willing to take a risk and do something that you might not have done before. 

John Step outside your comfort zone, in which case you’re then in that situation of being able to get a victory when you get a victory for something that builds confidence, that’s how you do it. It’s the control that gives you a sense of power and strength, which gives you a sense of being able to manage the fear, which gives you a strength of being able to take a risk. And that gives you the ability to have victory. That’s how you build confidence, and that cycle repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats, and that’s how you become. You go from not having any confidence, which at one point I had zilch. Honestly, I’ve told you about my panic attacks. 

John I couldn’t have a conversation face to face with one person at one point in my life and one individual, not anyone specific individual. A one-on-one conversation with an individual would scare the shit out of me, and I couldn’t. I panic. That’s how little confidence I had. That was a big part of it was confidence. OK, this works. OK, you get a little bit of control, something like the snooze button thing. I overcame my tendency to hit the snooze button. I got out of bed when I said I was going to. All of a sudden now I have a little bit feeling of control and a little bit feeling of strength, I won out over the snooze button. I beat the alarm clock. I beat the snooze button. I won today’s battle on the snooze button. 

John Now I got a feeling of control and strength, and now I have the ability to manage a fear that if I did that, I can make that phone call that I was going to make.  I’m in a better freedom of mind right now. That phone call might result positively. And that’s a big deal because now my confidence is higher and I get the result of that great phone call. 

John So all kinds of stuff. I love talking about this. I’m happy to talk one on one. If you want to message me, ask me questions. Whatever, I’m here for you. As always, I appreciate you listening today. A short one. Just a funny story with a little bit of a lesson in there. Again, just keep the keep that in mind. Those two things. How important confidence is. And also, do people understand what’s the with them? What’s in it for me if I follow you as the leader? Very, very critical. Very critical. When people don’t understand that they’re less likely to follow where they just flat out, won’t where they will for a little bit. But when things get rough and confusing, they don’t. They stop because they just don’t know what’s in it for me. 

John All right. As always, like subscribe, share and give me your ideas on future content, as well as guess and go down below, give a five-star review and we’ll see you next time. Thanks, everybody. 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!.

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