Our research on almost 2000 leaders suggests that self-confidence is an important factor in effective leadership. However, this is not as straight-forward as one might think. Those who are rated as effective leaders by their coworkers have a healthy balance of belief in themselves and their capabilities but recognize their limitations. They do believe they are capable, are destined to lead others, have good judgment and often believe they will do great things. This gives them a willingness to take risks, follow their vision, take initiative, set lofty goals, guide the organization through difficult times and make tough, critical decisions…


There are many approaches to making an effective decision

Decision Making: A Critical Leadership Skill

Making effective decisions is crucial to a leader’s success. However, given the pressure to make decisions quickly, often without having all of the data necessary, it is easy to make the wrong choice. “On an important decision one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits,” said author and educator Robert K. Greenleaf. …


The most powerful method for improving the quality of your decisions is to follow a disciplined decision-making process. Decisions are often contaminated by biases, a tendency to jump to conclusions, emotional reactivity and by pressure to act quickly. In this blog we will review both the benefits of following a disciplined decision process as well as how to implement this this process to improve the quality of the outcomes. When making decisions with a team, the conscious or unconscious influence of the leader can sabotage the entire discussion. The principles and practical suggestions in this article will be useful for…


There is an old saying, “Leaders are paid to make decisions.” Whether in business or any other field, making decisions is one of the most critical things leaders do. Look at any company’s performance, and you can immediately see the results of its decision making. It is not an exaggeration that the success of your team or your organization depends on whether your decisions enhance your chances of success or set you up for failure. You are creating your future, one decision at a time. The results you get reflect the effectiveness of your decision-making.

Take a quick look at…


There’s a common understanding that executives are hired to make decisions. True enough. But they are also hired to insure that the decisions are implemented. Coming to a decision — choosing a direction, formulating a strategy or deciding on an action plan — is difficult enough in these complex times. Getting people to buy in — to understand, accept, and align behind the plan — is another matter.

Nobody creates a successful business alone.

No matter how brilliant or visionary you are, how innovative your ideas or your product, you need other people to help you transform your vision into…


Good communication is vital for effective functioning of any team. However, if you have ever been on a team where the team leader openly criticizes team members, aggressively interrogates them to pick holes in their ideas, dismisses member’s contributions or plays one off against the other, you have witnessed how a leader can stifle open communication and create an atmosphere where people feel unsafe to say what they really think. A leader can destroy trust and openness by reducing the level of psychological safety and in turn, weakening the overall performance of the team. In the absence of psychological safety…


Good things happen when people are motivated and inspired. Creative juices flow, ideas proliferate, people work harder, productivity rises, and results improve. When this motivation is sparked by the leader, the organization or the country can thrive and survive the toughest of times.

In more than 40 years of coaching and studying effective and ineffective leaders and starting numerous entrepreneurial companies myself, one factor has stood out above all others. In large established corporations, growing start-ups, organizations in every industry around the world, what makes a leader most effective, above everything else, is the ability to inspire people. This means…


Trust is a central component of all healthy relationships. Teams are no exception. “There’s no team without trust,” said Paul Santagata, Head of Industry for Retail/Tech/Telecom at Google. “In Google’s fast-paced, highly demanding environment, our success hinges on the ability to take risks and be vulnerable in front of peers.” [“High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create it” by Laura Delizonna, Harvard Business Review August 24, 2017]

The leader must facilitate trust and be a model of trust. This means creating a team environment characterized by open, candid relationships and a climate of psychological safety.

“As a company…


Factors That Distinguish Effective Team Members

Building the senior team is critical to the organization’s success and an important part of the leader’s job. But often, the criteria for selecting team members and the process for recruiting, interviewing, selecting, and onboarding are flawed or haphazard. Hiring decisions that are made with too great a sense of urgency can lead to disaster. Today, the competition for top talent is intense. Chances are that you will have to balance the need to put someone in place with your desire to hire the best. Until the organization has a reputation/brand, and financial resources…


Defining the Team’s Rules of Engagement

It would be great if you could put together a group of individuals, call it a “team,” and have it function in a cohesive and productive manner. This actually happens occasionally, but much more often, the different backgrounds, work styles, and variations in social competence lead to less happy results.Almost always, team members have different histories and different types of business backgrounds ranging from long experience at one company, to no experience at all. Often, they’ve come from several different companies, which gives them diverse models of what is the best way to do things. These result in differing expectations…

Richard Hagberg

I’m a consulting psychologist, serial entrepreneur and leadership coach for startup founders of fast scaling companies with over 40 years of coaching experience

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store