From the boardroom to the locker room to the living room—how winners become winners . . . and stay that way.
Is success simply a matter of money and talent? Or is there another reason why some people and organizations always land on their feet, while others, equally talented, stumble again and again?
There’s a fundamental principle at work—the vital but previously unexamined factor called confidence—that permits unexpected people to achieve high levels of performance through routines that activate talent. Confidence explains:
• Why the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team continues its winning ways even though recent teams lack the talent of their predecessors
• Why some companies are always positively perceived by employees, customers, Wall Street analysts, and the media while others are under a perpetual cloud
• How a company like Gillette or a team like the Chicago Cubs ends a losing streak and breaks out of a circle of doom
• The lessons a politician such as Nelson Mandela, who resisted the temptation to take revenge after being released from prison and assuming power, offers for leaders in both advanced democracies and trouble spots like the Middle East
From the simplest ball games to the most complicated business and political situations, the common element in winning is a basic truth about people: They rise to the occasion when leaders help them gain the confidence to do it.
Confidence is the new theory and practice of success, explaining why success and failure are not mere episodes but self-perpetuating trajectories. Rosabeth Moss Kanter shows why organizations of all types may be brimming with talent but not be winners, and provides people in leadership positions with a practical program for either maintaining a winning streak or turning around a downward spiral.
Confidence is based on an extraordinary investigation of success and failure in companies such as Continental Airlines, Seagate, and Verizon and sports teams such as the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as schools, health care, and politics.
Packed with brilliant, practical ideas such as “powerlessness corrupts” and the “timidity of mediocrity,” Confidence provides fresh thinking for perpetuating winning streaks and ending losing streaks in all facets of life—from the factors that can make or break corporations and governments to the keys for successful relationships in the workplace or at home.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: Confidence|
|Release Date: 09-07-2004|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Crown Publishing Group|
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The Locker Room and
the Playing Field:
Booms, Busts, Streaks, and Cycles
Sometimes it seems as if there are only two states of being: boom or bust. When things are up, it feels as if they will always be up. People come to believe they can succeed at anything they try; companies proffer grand visions of innovative futures; and investment is easy to attract. When things are down, it seems as if they will always be down. That's how depressed people feel; that's why recession-dominated economies find recovery elusive; that's why teams or businesses or schools can stay in decade-long slumps.
Any company, any group, any person can be swept along by one of these fortunate or unfortunate cycles. What causes them to rise or to fall is often a matter of confidence. Confidence is the bridge connecting expectations and performance, investment and results. It is a familiar term used every day to indicate future prospects in a wide variety of circumstances-the self-confidence of athletes, consumer confidence in the economy, public confidence in leaders, or votes of no confidence at board meetings. But there is remarkably little understanding of what lies behind it. Consider the following dramatic examples, and the questions they raise about how confidence builds or erodes.
The women's basketball team at the University of Connecticut consistently broke records, winning ten Big East conference championships and chalking up a seventy-game winning streak. For the 2002-2003 season, the individual talent level of the team was well below that of its predecessors and many of its opponents, yet the team of valiant women continued to rack up victories. They were confident