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August 10th, 2012

The benefits of Olympic-sized confidence



A sampling of insights we’ve gleaned so far from the Olympics:

  • If you don’t like your score in gymnastics, you can actually ask them to look again, and they will actually change it.
  • Ryan Seacrest gets way, way too much work.
  • And if you’re looking for that “Hey, maybe I could still be an Olympian!” feeling, just stand next to the Italian archery team.

But one of the most useful insights we’ve unscientifically uncovered, is that to be great—and especially Olympic-gold-medal-winning great—you need crazy skills, near-maniacal determination, and confidence. A whole boatload of confidence. Because the confidence that allows Usain Bolt to pre-celebrate—is the same confidence missing from Stephan Feck’s somewhat-pike-like dive. And the confidence that has a hand in Michael Phelps getting away with training less while winning more —is similar to the confidence that inspires England to make a super-weird opening ceremony featuring, at one point, a giant, mummified baby. So, what if the secret to making your brand, company, and life great was a little believe-it-to-achieve-it confidence? Take it away, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, author of the conveniently-titled Confidence: “Confidence determines whether our steps—individually or collectively—are tiny and tentative or big and bold. Confidence is the sweet spot between arrogance and despair.” So, the next time you’re crafting that daring new business plan, making a breakthrough spot about pasta sauce/the loss of innocence, or even writing an admittedly-disjointed O-news (wink!), just remember: it all comes down to confidence. Right, McKayla?

…rats.