When people with false self-confidence end up in leadership roles, the negative effect is compounded because of the adverse influence their attitudes and behaviors have on everyone else. When these leaders are in charge, team members are not motivated to voice their opinions and challenge the boss. They are too intimidated even to think about it. Communication between the boss and the team is one-way; discussion is stifled, and all learning stops. Sometimes a boss who lacks true self-confidence will resort to being intentionally vague so that he can never be accused of being wrong or making a mistake.

Early in my career, I was among four analysts assigned to work on a problem and then present our findings ...

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