If not confidence, what is it then?

Confidence almost invariably leads complacency to over-confidence which leads to’ arseholeness’. There must be rare occasions when this progression does not naturally occur, but I can’t think of an example. There is a truism that’s states: Confidence breeds confidence. That IS the nature of confidence. So, by definition, confidence always ‘grows’ – and inevitably people don’t know when to stop.

I am sure some self-help gurus will argue that you can never have too much confidence. (I’d say, think ice-cream.) Some gurus will say that the problem is rarely once of too much confidence and that the bigger issue is growing confidence. To this I say: maybe so, but only if you understand the need to manage the confidence growth – and knowing when to stop. THAT is never taught – and that is my issue.

I don’t believe lack of confidence is the opposite of confidence. I am not advocating being unsure. What the world desperately needs, is more humility. Old-fashioned and contrary to the culture of ME it is, but if we could double the humility and halve the over-confidence the world would be a much better place.

I haven’t read the book yet, but Tom Peters (on his blog) spruiked a book on ‘Hostmanship’ – and sounds just like the kind of thing I am talking about. A good dose of humility will take care of all those customer service issues you face in your business and a bit of servant leadership (you know, the Christ model) will take care of all those ethical and governance issues that is the scourge of the modern corporation.