Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Dark Side of Confidence

Confidence is absolutely necessary to be a successful leader.  And yet, gone too far, it can become arrogance and can lead to poor decisions – even disastrous decisions.  How do we find a balance?

One way to balance this is long term versus short term confidence.

Long Term:  “I am confident in . . .

. . . the importance of our mission and the impact we make.”

. . . the talents of our team.”

. . . the value of working hard together on the mission.”

Short Term:  “We have a challenge/opportunity here . . .

. . . I have a few ideas, but no obvious answers”

. . . I want to hear your ideas.”

. . . if we work together we can create the best next steps.”

As leaders, we need to give up the old-fashioned, heroic notion that we need to have all of the answers.  We need to be open-minded about the best direction to take in the short term while being ever confident in the long term.

Arrogance can be a huge leadership derailer.   Once we think we are invulnerable, we are a step away from being proven wrong.  Try backing off the temptation to be the Hero Leader and invite your team to be partners in forging the path ahead.   It could provide a significant improvement for your Mission Impact

For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Psychologists say that arrogance is a compensation for insecurities and weaknesses. An arrogant person will rarely say, “I don't know the answer, but I'll find out.” Confident people admit mistakes and learn something from those experiences.
    -Carmine Gallo