The Unconventional CEO – Confidence drives almost everything

The Unconventional CEO

Chapter 53 – As a kid, you heard it, tried it and maybe even mastered, the art of sounding confident and plausible. You may have tried it to pick up girls. Sometime you might have got it right, circumstances allowing. Sometimes a more confident kid snatched her away. So what did he have that you didn’t, and why does it matter?

It’s still all about confidence – yours and hers. Or theirs, if you want to extend the analogy to the enterprise. Your team will generally do what you want them to if you can show them a winning way, one in which you confidently believe. Doing things well instils confidence, the level of confidence drives the level of dominance, and thus the pecking order follows. Thanks to which you’re the #1 in your industry and perhaps so at home, too.

Confidence is an emotional projection that shapes the expectations of the other person. “Trust me; I know what I’m doing.” That got you the first kiss, and the last laugh, too. It’s ongoing and it is the one thing you must cultivate, and absolutely fake if you need to.

Your troops aren’t keen on abandoning ship, but if they detect a fall in your self-esteem this will have them jumping over the ramparts and into the arms of the opposition. In a flash. If you falter, go watch some YouTube of Apollo Robbins and Pamela Meyer on TED, or episodes in the Lie to Me series to get some guidance on how to fake the very short interval before your demise.

How to build confidence? Validate the other person in the first sentence. Create punching space for yourself. Don’t set yourself up as The Answer to Any Question right there and then. Hear them out. Ask around. Get opinions. Let your answer simmer. Be in charge. Trot out the beauty, to their astonishment. Remember also the comment of former New York Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia: “I don’t make many mistakes, but when I do it’s a beaut!”

The obverse side is your ego. While confidence will boost it, keep it reined in and tethered. Your world is not a competition until you step up against the sort of competition with whom your people will not easily do battle. Your victories there will be hollow and self-destructive. Go play golf. It’s humbling. If that doesn’t work, try long-distance swimming for a worthwhile battle against your inner self. I have, and it works. Confidence? Yes. Egotism? No.

The Unconventional CEO offers succinct, compelling advice from one successful CEO Mario Pretorius, to you The Cape Messenger reader.

The book is also available to purchase in full from the Amazon store.

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