Is overconfidence defeating you?

Marshall Goldsmith’s research indicates 80% to 85% of successful executives rate themselves in the top 20% of their peer group. Additionally, 70% rate themselves in the top 10%. It doesn’t take a mathematical genius to figure out that about 60% rate themselves higher than they should.

Chances are you’re good but you’re not as good as you think.

Confident leaders magnify and maximize their strengths while minimizing their weaknesses. That’s not all bad. You need confidence. Confidence enables you to face challenges, work through obstacles, and view defeats as momentary. However, the dark side of confidence is overconfidence and there’s a thin line between the two.

You may be overconfident if:

  1. You believe you’re the smartest person in the room.
  2. You haven’t been to training in months or years.
  3. You’re surprised when others don’t realize your greatness.
  4. You think the things you do are more important than the things others do.
  5. You jump into the spotlight and seldom share it.
  6. You seldom if ever change your mind.
  7. You don’t have a coach, mentor, or other trusted advisor.
  8. You don’t adequately consider or plan for failure.
  9. You believe your personality type is superior to others.
  10. You think you’re a performer but mostly you’re a talker.
  11. Bonus: You make excuses when a fault or failure is pointed out.


Do you have enough confidence to ask others if they’ve seen you act humbly? If you do, ask them to describe what you did and go do more of that.


When does confidence become overconfidence?