Do you have a confidant?
Do you have a confidant? (Ambro/Free Digital Photos)

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Leaders are called to be courageous and confident yet constantly humble.

Being confident is important. But change out the e for an a in confident, and this is also a huge need for leaders: a confidant.

Dictionary.com defines confidant as “a close friend or associate to whom secrets are confided or with whom private matters and problems are discussed.”

Every leader I know needs a confidant. Here are a few thoughts on leaders having one:

1. This is not someone on your team who reports to you or is a peer.

2. This is not your boss. And for nonprofit and church leaders, this is probably not someone on your board.

3. This is probably not a family member, since family members seem to only see one side and not the whole picture.

4. Make sure it’s someone with honesty and integrity whom you are 100 percent sure won’t talk to anyone else about what you are sharing. Loose lips sink ships.

5. It is someone you can rely on, share with, lean into for tough decisions, gripe about things and receive counsel from.

6. There are lots of executive coaches out there. And I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea for your executive coach or life coach to potentially be a confidant. But ideally, your confidant is not someone you pay to help you.

7. A confidant doesn’t make decisions for you; they advise you. Don’t allow your confidant to be your final decision maker.

8. They have nothing to gain. Make sure your confidant is not motivated one way or the other by the outcome of your decisions. For example, as a professional athlete, many look to their agents as their confidants—but ultimately that can be a bit risky, since the agent’s job is to get more money for the athlete, thus gaining more money themselves.

9. Confidants are more for listening than they are for talking. Advice and counsel many times can be best given through a sounding board than a clanging gong.

10. Start early in your career. You don’t need to be a CEO or president to have a confidant. As a leader, having an outside voice to give advice to you at any level in the organization is helpful.

Brad Lomenick is president and key visionary of Catalyst—a movement purposed to equip and inspire young Christian leaders through events, resources, consulting and community. Follow him on Twitter @bradlomenick, or read his personal blog at bradlomenick.com.

For the original article, visit bradlomenick.com.

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