Hospitality Leadership Solutions Series: Is Self-Confidence Friend or Foe?
September 19, 2018 1:04pm
By James Houran, Ph.D. and Keith Kefgen
Noted hospitality thought leaders and corporate governance/ performance management experts Kefgen and “Dr. Jim” share common management challenges while providing time-tested, field-tested or just simple “quick-fix” ideas to keep professionals inspired, effective and successful.
Self-confidence can be a friend and foe to emerging leaders and seasoned executives alike. In many cases, leaders must think and act against popular wisdom, and thus must exhibit confidence and grit in the face of severe—and even very public—opposition. Of course, self-confidence can also lead one down a very dark path of narcissism, nepotism and grandiosity if untampered, much less uncontrolled. As Herbert Joly, CEO of Best Buy told us, arrogance is the foe of self-confidence, not its equal. A healthy ego comprised of a sense of self-competence and self-esteem is important, but it is invariably dangerous if it lacks a corresponding sense of introspection.
Ego is a natural, necessary and constructive part of leadership, but it must be balanced with humility and realism to be focused on bringing positive impacts. In our world of workplace psychology, we call this collective and balanced concept of ego “self-efficacy.” This is a term for a combination of interrelated constructs that include drive, motivation, emotional intelligence, personal control and accountability. Fortunately, it can be fostered via three simple tactics:
Contrary to the stereotypical image of the big-ego CEO portrayed in the media, the best leaders simultaneously exhibit a marked degree of achievement-orientation on one hand, and empathy and humility on the other. Self-confidence is a foe when it serves only you; it is a friend when it fuels service to others.
“Dr. Jim” Houran is a 20-year veteran in applied psychological research and a published expert on peak performance, online testing and interpersonal and organizational compatibility. He has authored over 100 articles, and his award-winning work has been profiled by a myriad of media outlets and programs including the Discovery Channel, A&E, BBC, National Geographic, NBC’s Today Show, USA Today, New Scientist, Psychology Today and Forbes.com. He remains a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and serves as Research Professor in the Psychometrics and Statistics Laboratory at the Lusofona University of Humanities and Technologies (Lisbon, Portugal).
Contact: James Houran
+1 817 542-7602
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