In his book, The Anxious Organization, Jeffrey Miller warns us about the futility of attempting to change someone else’s behavior in order to relieve our own anxiety. It does not work. When young in the management roles, this is precisely what I did; and I thought I was right.
Thinking back, I may have even believed it was my obligation to change those whom I managed. Throughout those young years as a manager I received a lot of supervisory training. To be fair, I will claim no memory of how the material was presented and claim total accountability and responsibility for how I applied it. It was applied – way too consistently for comfortable memory – in a manner that I felt gave me more control over the behavior of others.
When the learning began I do not remember, but I found freedom in the realization that you manage things and you lead people. Letting go of the need to change others gave me safety in learning to change my own behavior. Entering the transition from managing people to leading people gave me the privilege of creating caring accountability in self first and then in others – accountability rooted in individual confidence.
This is the New Confidence.