The person with confidence is the person we turn to when problems of any kind arise. One of the chiefs I interviewed put it this way: “The CEO weapon of choice is a display of self-confidence.”
In the business press, confident-appearing CEOs are written about with descriptions like these:
- “He spoke with such tremendous confidence and certainty, as if he’d seen, understood, and known everything from the beginning.”
- “She is an island of dignified calm; . . . . looks like suppressed power.”
- “He was a man with a made-up mind.”
- “She is extroverted without being self-aggrandizing; clearly comfortable in her own skin and intellect.”
- “He is confident, though not cocky; intelligent, but not conceited; . . . a calm, easy manner; . . . a leader for our age because he delivers outstanding results without seeking fame.”
- “He is a distinctly new creature: the CEO who is celebrated for being uncelebrated; . . . while he shuns self-promotion, he’s charismatic.”
- “He is a still person even in motion; . . . he walks as if he has all the time in the world, yet still manages to cover ground quickly.”
- “He has a certain understanding of self and doesn’t try to put on airs. You can sit down and have a conversation with him, and he doesn’t try to impress you. He has a curiosity to learn and to explain and not think a lot about himself.”
- “He is not in it for his ego. He’s actually in it to do good.”
Seems like a goal worth going for!
Your mind manages all of your life: your outlook, how you approach situations, and how you interact and work with others. It’s a feeling of great freedom to think whatever you want. Sure, there are random thoughts that come and go that you can’t do anything about. But the ones you put in and hold, you control.
Outside of having brain damage, disease, or mind-altering substances, you’re in complete control of what goes on inside your head—if you choose to be.
You already know this, but I’m emphasizing these facts because I want you to understand how empowering they can truly be. You rule your world and run your life with the perspective you choose.
Or, as one CEO told me, “Your mind is your boss, and you gotta be self-employed.”
You already know this, but just a reminder: Nothing baffles people full of tricks and duplicities more than simple straightforward integrity.
For example, if you have pledged against texting or talking on your cell phone while driving, also refrain from doing these similarly distracting things behind the wheel: scratching off a lottery ticket, reading the Bible, eating a bowl of cereal, changing your clothes, or painting your fingernails—despite the fact that those activities (all of which I’ve seen people actually do) are not stated in any anti-texting pledge or law.
The far end of lacking integrity is breaking the law. There are corporate scoundrels who are involved in insider stock trading, securities fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, bribes, Ponzi schemes, and kickbacks (just a short list of potential options). People steal, cheat, and lie online and off. Experts report that today cybercrime is more prevalent than drug crime.
In this day and age, you will be found out. You might go to jail. You will lose trust from family and friends, and you will never get it back—even when you are being truthful.
Integrity is pretty simple: show up, get in fast with the truth, let go of the outcome.
It’s arrogance, not confidence, when you:
- Assume you know it all
- Think you’re smarter than others
- Don’t listen and learn
- Are full of bluster; too sure of yourself in every situation without reason
- Abuse your power, or browbeat, demean, or put down other people
- Act superior
- Think “I’m special. The rules don’t apply to me.”
I’m all for confidence, but never arrogance.