7 Ways Overconfidence is Sabotoging Your Career

Frank is bright, confident, with an MBA from a top 25 and a long-track record of success. He moved up quickly and has a wall full of awards. He’s checked all the boxes: special assignments, line and staff jobs, late nights; but the last three promotions have gone to someone else. When he asks why, he’s told to “Be patient,” and that “Your time will come.” Hardly actionable feedback. He wants to DO something, so he goes on a self-promotion campaign, sharing his laundry list of reasons why he’s qualified. He reminds anyone that matters of his MBA, his contributions and his sacrifices. Frank wants to be sure it’s crystal clear that he deserves the next promotion.

The next promotional opportunity comes and goes.

This time he’s told why. “You’re driving everyone crazy.” “It’s all about you, not the work.” “You’ve got a sense of entitlement.” “You’re over-confident. Instead of asking how you can improve, you’re telling everyone why you don’t need to.”

Confidence without humility will sabotage your career.

7 Ways Overconfidence Will Sabotage Your Career

1. You Come Across as Entitled

Entitled, whiny, “What about me?” makes even the most competent and confident person look weak. Let your work and actions speak for themselves.

2. You Over-Rely on Past Strategy

It worked last time so you do it the same way. You move quickly, not stopping to consider that this situation or team is different. Lather, rinse, repeat is not a leadership strategy.

3. You Stop Learning

Lots of reasons for this. See these 60 reasons

4. You Stop Asking For Feedback

You think you know what to do and how to lead, so you stop asking for feedback. Leadership is never handled. Never stop asking.

5. You Under-Prepare

You’ve got this, it’s easy, so you back off the effort. You just didn’t anticipate what happened next.

6. You’ve Got No Plan B

You’re so confident you’re on the fast track, you stop networking or creating contingency plans. Never take your career path for granted.

7. You Ignore Data

When you think you know what to do, it’s easy to ignore data that doesn’t fit your plan. Great leaders have extraordinary peripheral vision.

Never underestimate the importance of confident humility.