Summary of Confidence

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  • Analytical
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Why do winning streaks and losing streaks continue in sports, business, politics, education and even in individual personal lives? The answer, according to Harvard University business administration professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, is “not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Winners have, and losers lack, a distinct, learnable, positive attitude toward the future, which Kanter boldly sums up in a word: confidence. Drawing on more than 300 interviews with top coaches, business people and other leaders, and using data from two surveys of more than 1,200 companies, Kanter illustrates the keys to confidence with case studies of various organizations, including sports teams. She has hidden many pearls of wisdom in this refresher on managerial basics, especially morale building

About the Author

Rosabeth Moss Kanter has been a professor at Harvard Business School since 1986 and was editor of the Harvard Business Review from 1989 to 1992. An adviser to numerous companies and governments, she serves on the boards of several public service organizations, including City Year, the national urban youth service corp. This is her sixteenth book.



Confidence requires belief in yourself, your teammates, your systems and processes, and your network.

Winners have confidence partly because of their past success. But rather than being merely the result of winning, confidence is also the cause of winning. A pivotal trait, confidence is simply the reasonable expectation that good things will happen in your professional and personal life.


Such positive expectations give people the fortitude to work toward difficult goals, the resilience to bounce back from adversity and the equanimity to confront their circumstances honestly, even in bad times. These expectations allow you to maintain your advantage when things are going well. Confidence affects organizations and their networks, as well as individuals, who experience it on four levels:

  1. Confidence in yourself – The feeling that you can reach your goal.
  2. Confidence in your teammates – The feeling that others are competent, give their best effort and deserve your support, plus a sense that they will also support you.
  3. Confidence in the process

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