Confidence is the vital ingredient no business can do without, according to Dame Karen Jones. 

The Cafe Rouge co-founder and Hawksmoor chairwoman writes in the Sunday Times that confidence is the “intangible quality” that allows you to contemplate success.

She distinguishes this from over-confidence — “that sleek, armoured pose that shouts ruler of the universe” — but rather the quiet, comfortable-in-your-own skin knowledge that you can achieve things, ”alongside the determination to have a go.”

”Where does it come from? Where did I get the confidence to make the winning, multibillion-pound bid for a large pub group from a car phone (remember those?) sitting in a pub car park in Birmingham? Or the belief to move from a sought-after post-graduation job as an account planner in an advertising agency, to an entirely undefined role running restaurants?”

One answer lies in cheerleaders, says Jones.

“Those people who stand on the sidelines of your life and tell you that you can do it, who cheer on your endeavours and whose belief never wavers. My mother was mine; she never questioned my choices and she was steadfast in her belief that every problem has a solution.”

Jones is currently a senior independent director at Deliveroo and chair at both Hawksmoor and Mowgli Street Food.

She has a wealth of experience in the restaurant, food and hospitality sectors having founded Café Rouge and led the formation of Spirit Group as CEO. She has also previously chaired the remuneration committees at ASOS and Booker.

There is another aspect to confidence: the ability to look at things differentl, Jones adds. ”At a time when it is so critical for enterprises to move from a one-dimensional measure of success — that linear connection between inputs and purely financial outcomes — to a more holistic, 3D construct that takes impact on people and the environment into consideration, confident leaders and managers can look into the future and understand what genuinely sustainable success looks like, and create it.”