Your Happiness Factor:celebrating happiness, prosperity, hearth and home, good health.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Do you have to be arrogant to succeed?

This is me on the trapeze during practice with...  

Like many others I was brought up with dire warnings against the sin of hubris.

Hubris means extreme pride to the point of arrogance True hubris usually indicates a loss of contact with reality and a substantial overestimation of your own abilities.
I wrote here last week about the value of confidence in your own ability. 
Hmm - what is too much confidence and what risk does it carry?
In fact,  research suggests that there can be benefits for an individual in overestimating their abilities.
Research has found that a two-player team consisting of one overconfident and one more rational person outperforms a team consisting of two rational people.
This is because overconfidence enhances effort levels – over confident people try harder.
It seems that over-confidence probably accounts for the ultimate success of some serial entrepreneurs.
There is  evidence that  the earlier failed ventures provide valuable resources for entrepreneurs’ future use.  
Being highly confident in their abilities keeps them trying and learning from their experience, until eventually they succeed.
It may even be that the prosperity of some societies reflects a culture that allows more confident individuals and entrepreneurs to undertake more challenging and risky tasks with greater conviction. Survivors set up new businesses, achieve technology breakthroughs, develop new drugs, initiate and articulate novel ideas and theories and so on.
But in societies where people are more preoccupied with establishing when and how they could be wrong, they may become more timid, indecisive and achieve less! 
Higher confidence appears to increase the odds of success from creating wealth to saving jobs and lives. 
But remember extreme arrogance is never attractive!  If you want to get on with others in your society, it helps if you keep some sense of reality and perhaps at least half a foot on the floor!