Amanda Rose is the founder of Small Business Women Australia, a network and source of information, advice and learning to support women in small business, as well as the founder of Western Sydney Women and Western Sydney Advisory.
Small Business Women Australia’s private Facebook group, which currently has more than 2,700 members, connects entrepreneurs and allows them to share their business experiences.
Through her work with business owners, CEOs and HR managers, Amanda has devised several strategies to help professionals make business decisions with confidence.
"Leadership in the time of a recession takes a special kind of courage," Amanda notes. "But that courage is accessible to you. You can build your confidence."
Amanda explains that confidence is embedded in knowing yourself.
"It grows when you understand what you stand for and where you are headed. In other words, confidence requires clear knowledge of your identity and direction," she says.
"A recession is no time to be shy. As others retreat, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks." – Amanda Rose
"The moment you hesitate in these areas, your confidence will start being impacted. That will have a ripple effect on those you lead; the entire business will feel the weight of your insecurity.
"Good leaders are confident – not because they know what they are doing 100% of the time, but because they know themselves and their purpose."
Amanda shares with The CEO Magazine six ways that leaders can build their confidence while in a challenging climate.
Amanda Rose on building your confidence
Review your situation
Don’t blindly walk forward and hope for the best. A recession is a real challenge and one that demands to be faced front on. To act with confidence, you need to understand the reality of your situation.
Ask whether you need to make changes. If so, why – and how? Thinking through these questions before you act is essential.
The more decisive you are, the more that people are likely to trust your decisions.
On the flip side, impulsive decisions are rarely wise. The happy medium involves careful thinking and planning. Ask yourself the hard questions.
During difficult times, you need to act decisively but wisely. Before you make a move, review your situation.
Go back to basics
If you’re feeling worried about the future, cut the fat. Perhaps that luxury office space or big-budget event can wait. Anything that could be seen as extravagant should be cut.
Remember, start with yourself. Don’t keep living it up while expecting everyone else to cut back.
Going back to basics means that when the tough times hit, you can lead confidently knowing that you have acted as prudently as possible.
Leave no room for doubt – from yourself or others.
Invest in your team
A recession often leaves staff members feeling insecure about their work.
This never leads to good work, so your priority as a leader should be making your team feel as secure as possible.
Keep their skills and hopes high. Invest relationally and professionally, perhaps by offering extra training or education options.
A recession is no time to be shy. As others retreat, don’t be afraid to take calculated risks.
Now is the time to look outside your comfort zone – look at the market and see where you can gain an advantage.
Push yourself and your team to think creatively and act courageously. By putting your foot on the pedal and trying something new, you’ll remind yourself of your drive and capacity.
Build yourself up as experts
Confidence comes from knowledge of your vision and ability. Sharing those skills only increases confidence.
A recession is an ideal opportunity to build your profile as an industry expert.
Produce high-quality, practical content, such as articles or videos.
How can you help your market and audience? How can you show what you’ve got to offer?
Building credibility and expertise will keep your confidence levels high even if the sales drop.
Envision the future
Remember, the direction is key for confidence. Use the challenges to envisage the future and move in the right direction.
Even if this is a week-by-week discussion, some forward-thinking is better than none.
You need to direct the ship and clearly communicate with your crew.
Even if you can’t see the destination through the clouds, believe that you’ll get there and paddle hard.