The Importance and Danger of Overconfident Individuals

June 12, 20191:24 pm
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We know that confidence is an essential ingredient to lead a successful life. It serves as a key to determine how you perceive your ability and appearance. For example, if you have that confidence in yourself, you will likely perform better with your current ability or skill. It also means that when you are confident, you can see positivity in yourself that will help you achieve more.

“Self-confidence is linked to almost every element involved in a happy and fulfilling life.” Barbara Markway

However, if confidence can lead to a successful life, can overconfidence serve the same? Yes, it can. But it can be dangerous, too.

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According to a study by Kenny Phua and friends, a company led by an overconfident leader is associated with lower employee turnover and allocated a greater fraction of assets in their retirement benefit plans. This type of leader also helps organisation develop a better relationship with clients which lasts longer than average. Not to mention, overconfident leaders are better innovators who can increase the commitment of other people to your venture.

Nonetheless, a popular statement saying that something which is too much is not good. It can be destructive and even lead to a negative result. In other words, being too confident could also negatively affect the business. Johnson said in his study that it remains a puzzle how overconfident individual can help company strive better as overconfidence often leads to faulty assessments, unrealistic expectations, and hazardous decisions, which means it is not an ideal attitude for leader or individuals to be overly confident about themselves or their decision.

“Overconfidence can be very destructive. It can be dangerous. You should be confident in your abilities, but humble in your attitude.” Jeremy Kingsley

Another research on leadership effectiveness also showed that sometimes overconfident individuals fail to see deficiencies and positive outcomes. In the research, individuals who are overconfident about their positive outcomes developed less effective plans but more emotionally appealing vision. Overconfident individuals who fail to see deficiencies can develop less effective plans and less practical vision.

So, how can we balance our confidence to achieve a better result?

The research on leadership effectiveness cited that individuals should keep their confidence fairly low to make better plans and see deficiencies. You can be overconfident about something but you also need to be just with your ability, sociability, and opinion – and that’s how you can achieve true success.

To do that, you can balance your confidence with two steps; carefulness and mindfulness. You need to be careful about your decision. Not every decision should be adopted directly as it might threaten your business or people. Second, you should be mindful with the action needed for your decision. These two factors can be an effective way to cover the weaknesses of overconfidence.

Read also: The Enemy of Business Success: Hypocritical Leader