How Much Ween Do You Need

The word “overweening” came to mind this morning. I pronounced the “ween” with a whine. Overweeeeening! Now it’s stuck in my head.

Merriam-webster.com says overweening is too confident. I suppose we need just enough confidence/ween, but not too much. We shouldn’t be underweening either. (I’m not sure if that’s a word.)

Enough ween – not too much:

There’s a nest of baby birds inside most of us. They nibble away at our confidence. If you ask me, this isn’t all bad.

Think highly enough of yourself to believe you can lead, but not so highly that you can do it on your own.

Leaders who lack self-doubt:

  1. Resist alternatives. A closed mind points to an overweening leader.
  2. Get angry at constructive contrarians.
  3. Feel offended at a lack of humility in others. People don’t appreciate your awesomeness when you’re overweening.

Leaders with enough self-doubt, but not too much:

  1. Agonize over tough decisions. A sleepless night before terminating someone says you have a heart.
  2. Connect with coaches, mentors, and advisors.
  3. Worry about having enough information. You seldom know “enough” to make decisions with complete confidence.

Leaders with enough confidence, but not too much:

  1. Say, “we”.
  2. Move forward with confidence after making decisions.
  3. Take responsibility for decisions, even when they go wrong.
  4. Let themselves enjoy success at least for a day or two. “We were awesome today.”
  5. Make decisions that others don’t like with compassion. Lack of compassion indicates arrogance.
  6. Enjoy being liked, but don’t need it.
  7. Believe in the team.

Just right:

You’ll probably be too hot or too cold, when it comes comes to confidence.

The balance between too much self-doubt and too little is found in connection and compassion. Stay connected with customers, front-line employees, colleagues, the board, coaches, and mentors.

Confidence with compassion is just right.

How might leaders navigate the challenge of too much or too little confidence?