Monday, June 09, 2008

Confidence or Denial?

I think it is important for us to be confident. It is amazing how far a positive attitude can take a person. Yet I've been wondering lately, at what point does confidence, or a positive attitude, turn into a denial of reality?

In regards to this question, to see this fine line, an easy person to pick on is our current president. One of the great things he brought to this country, especially in the immediate after math of 9/11 was his supreme confidence and positive attitude. We were going to work through this as a country and come out stronger. We all believed him, if for no other reason than we needed to. Yet on the other side of matters are images of him giving a speech underneath a banner declaring victory or this past winter scoffing at the predictions that gas would reach $4 per gallon. Well, it seems we haven't quite reached a point where we really can declare victory in Iraq and $4 per gallon is now a reality. It kind of makes him look buffoonish.

So at what point does confidence move from an asset to a liability? How do we remain confident with a positive attitude, but not deny reality? I ask because I try (at least publicly) remain as positive as I can. I try and counter what appears to be panic because of the perceived negative situation with positivity and confidence that we will get through it just fine. However, I fear that my confidence and positive perception have been received as denial of the situation and I end up looking a bit like a buffoon in the situation. So I ask, how do we find that line? How do we walk it as leaders?

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