Hollow confidence

When I was at university (some years ago) there was one class that was dominated by a handful of opinionated English public-school (i.e. fee-paying school) boys whose confidence was completely out of proportion to the value of their contribution. They talked loudly and without hesitation on topics they clearly knew very little about. Maybe it’sContinue reading “Hollow confidence”

Raining on someone else’s parade

There is a joke that Mexicans tell about themselves: An American businessman is on holiday in Mexico and, as he is walking along the beach, he passes a Mexican fisherman with his catch of crabs in an open bucket. “You should put a lid on that,” says the American, “or the crabs will climb out.”Continue reading “Raining on someone else’s parade”

A courage for gaps

Most of us would agree on the importance of thinking things through properly before we act. Thinking time ensures detailed, thorough and sometimes creative solutions. The more important the decision, the more consideration it deserves. But, at a certain point we need to stop deliberating and we need to find the courage to act. EvenContinue reading “A courage for gaps”

The devil and the angel

We have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. The devil is encouraging us to push ahead regardless and ignore what anyone else thinks; and the angel is telling us we should listen to others and hold back. Except that the devil is sometimes right and the angel sometimes wrong. That’sContinue reading “The devil and the angel”

The power of ‘no’

I need a job where the core skill is to be cynical. That is my real expertise – finding the reasons ‘why not’; identifying all the downsides. It’s a skill I have honed over many years. Unfortunately, most jobs call for people to take a more balanced approach – to weigh up the pros andContinue reading “The power of ‘no’”

Presentation vs content

Your confidence in your ability to make decisions should reflect how good you are at making decisions! – the ‘presentation’ should reflect the ‘content’. How good you have been historically at making decisions should inform the ‘courage of your convictions’. As you make more decisions and test yourself in the real world you learn howContinue reading “Presentation vs content”

The opposite of cognitive dissonance?

I always doubt my decisions after the fact. Any decision. If I decide to go left, I begin to see all the reasons why going right might have been a better idea, and all the downsides of going left. And the same if I’d gone right. The alternative always looks more sensible, no matter whichContinue reading “The opposite of cognitive dissonance?”

Like yourself and respect yourself

Tony and Julie Tony is a self-proclaimed ‘rainmaker’, a risk taker, a winner. He runs his own marketing consultancy company which he manages with a rod of iron. He minimises costs and maximises revenue, down to the very last penny. He screws down his suppliers, underpays and overworks his staff, overcharges his clients and underdeliversContinue reading “Like yourself and respect yourself”