Leadership – Self Confidence

2014-11-03 04.28.17

Self Confidence is a by-product of High Energy and Stress Management. Low energy coupled with elevated stress levels can erode confidence over time by attacking esteem. This trait is considered to include number of related themes like self-esteem and self-efficacy. People with higher levels of Self Confidence are more likely to seek responsibility, look for and act upon problems, seek out opportunities, overcome challenges while gaining the respect and confidence of subordinates through their actions and behaviours.

In Instant Confidence Paul McKenna wrote that “as a leader you must expect resistance and even rejection, because they are the price of innovation. So if you’re going to be a leader you’re going to have to be willing to lead” (McKenna, 2006). McKenna supported this view using Apple as an example:

“When Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were trying to build a prototype for the Apple computer they attempted to get Atari and Hewlett-Packard interested. They even offered to give the companies all the rights in exchange for funding and a nominal salary. Not only were they rejected, Hewlett-Packard actually said: We don’t need you – you haven’t got through college yet!” (McKenna, 2006).

According to McKenna the price of innovation is taxed by resistance and rejection but the armour which defends against this inevitable onslaught is Self Confidence. If Jobs and Wozniak lacked this trait, Apple and subsequently the iPhone may never have been invented. The impact of a scenario such as this may have had far reaching effects. For example, a generation may have been denied smartphone technology, considering that Apple raised the bar and redefined market boundaries when they presented the world with its creations. In doing so Apple also prompted competitors like Samsung into action, causing Innovation to accelerate at faster rate than the previous decade in mobile technology. Michael Porters Five-Forces model predicts that ‘new entrants’ will always pose a credible threat in any market. This century witnessed these phenomenon’s unfold within the mobile phone industry where one casualty, Nokia, is testament to the impact of relentless Self Confidence.

The concept that Self Confidence can impact on future generations coupled with it being an underlying force that ignites one of Porters’ Five-Forces, magnifies its value as a leadership trait. Apple proved that Self Confidence can incubate the ability to influence the trajectory of future events with profound social implications. Technological advancement was essentially born out of this trait, nurtured along the way in order to navigate a path littered by resistance and rejection.

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