This entire course is about leadership. Not as much in a corporate sense, but in a very personal sense. It's about who we are as individuals, working to accomplish hopefully great things, working to help others accomplish also great things, and doing what we can to live a fulfilling, meaningful, and happy life. There are so many things I've learned over the years about all this, and I've tried to sprinkle in lots of examples and Insights and each of the modules in this course, from focusing on change and challenging comfort zones to creativity and life hacks. In this final module, we go even deeper into personal leadership and into you. My goal is to give you more insight into yourself. Yes, as a leader, but even more as a human being. Let's start with self confidence. I mean, who doesn't want that. The hallmark of any great leader is the ability to convey to others that you know what's going on and that you're ready to take it on. Follow me and we'll make it all work. I mean, all you have to do is look at popular movies to see how self-confidence is such a universal characteristic of effective leadership. James Bond, Wonder Woman, they show no fear, no hesitation. Instead, there are certainty and there is confidence. When we see managers resembling these swashbucklers, we say there's someone who's going places, if only. Self-confidence run amok leads to mistakes and missed opportunities, whether that's taking on big acquisitions that probably should never have been made to spending too much time perfecting the old while ignoring the new. It's not that self-confidence is a bad thing, of course, it's essential. But so are open-mindedness and flexibility. Too much self-confidence means you start missing the warning signs that you might be wrong. You miss these signs because, to you, they don't even exist. The possibility that you could be wrong is a foreign concept. Self-confidence might also yield better results when directed towards questions or fields where you are truly expert. A related point is even more important. Open-mindedness and flexibility are critical when you're playing a game that is unfamiliar to you. I've often observed in my work with companies and others that while expertise in one domain usually does not transfer to other areas, unrelated areas, people often think that it does. They often think that it does work that way. So the CEO fancies himself an expert in technology or the professor who thinks he can run the university better than the administrators, and even the star athlete that uses his power to force general managers to bring on players he thinks are the best. All of a sudden expertise in one area makes people think they're experts in all sorts of other areas. Less you think self-confidence is the only culprit. Consider the opposite. Humility. The humble but competent leader expects other people to contribute ideas, embraces the role of coach or teacher on a team, and looks for opportunities to deflect attention to others. Not only does humility leave room for stars to shine, it often leads to better thought-out decisions by drawing on the know-how of others. I mean, it's all good, right? It's all good except that, once again, excessive humility, like excessive self-confidence, brings downsides. In many walks of life, there is no replacement for the killer instinct. Competition is all about winning, and a touch of arrogance is actually not such a bad thing. I remember an article I read a few years ago in the New York Times about the NBA superstar Stephen Curry. His coach describes him as humble and arrogant. You can be both and arguably, you need to be both. The trick is to find the right times to exhibit either side of your leadership repertoire. Helping your teammates score is good, but so is taking charge of the game and dominating the scoring when it needs to happen, if you can do that. Competition at the highest levels in sports and in business makes being a one-trick pony a foolish strategy. Where does that leave us? If you're a manager or an executive, make sure you're not falling into the more is better trap. Just because self-confidence is good or humility is valuable, doesn't mean you want to find and reward people who keep showing more of the same. If you're early in your career, trying to figure out what to work on, what to do, beware the focus on your strengths crowd. That advice makes sense only up to a point. That point is where management meets leadership. Work to become more aware of the limits to your leadership style. Recognize that being humble may score you points with your coworkers. But if you become typecast, you'll find it a lot harder to move up to a leadership position. I had my own version of this happened to me earlier in my career. My first job as a professor was at University of Southern California. Now this was and is a great school with fabulous people, but I was quickly typecast as a one-trick pony. I was this guy that knew how to publish research articles in top journals, something that, at that time, few other faculty members were particularly good at. But I was interested in expanding my bandwidth. I was interested in working more with executives in various capacities. That just wasn't going to be in the cards because the key gatekeepers there saw my dedication and success at publishing in mainstream academic journals, and they probably assumed that that was my thing. I only realized, this is interesting, I only realized in retrospect that I let that happen to me in part because my personal style was all about humility, often underplaying my accomplishments, and as a result, inadvertently sending a signal that I was exactly where I want it to be. I didn't want to be in front of a class full of experienced executives. That was the image I was giving out, even though that wasn't true. So maybe I'd actually didn't have all the confidence I needed at that time. My mistake, only uncovered years later, is that I had completely missed hitting a balance between confidence and humility by presenting myself as this humble academic with narrow bandwidth. Even though I really had much wider aspirations, I was signaling to others and they simply reacted to that signal by doing what they thought I wanted. But I didn't. Now that I'm older, man, let's just say a little bit wiser, I more fully understand that no one did anything wrong or bad to me. I did it to myself, something that you might want to think about in your own life as well. This lesson goes beyond confidence and humility, doesn't it? I mean, how we show up at work and in our personal lives, it's really important. Every one of us is constantly trying to figure out the people around us. Processing signals both thoughtful and inadvertent. The mistakes are made in the signaling processing we do. For me, the mistake led to my leaving USC to move to where I am today at Dartmouth College, where I had to move to be able to get the bandwidth I was interested in, where I was able to start fresh with a blank slate of confidence and humility for others to pick up on. This time round, though, I was much more aware of the implicit signals I was sending. By actively managing that process, I put myself in a place where I can go after the upside potential I really wanted. I mean, this is a lesson about life as much as it is about work, isn't it? A lesson I've learned to take seriously over the years and I hope you will, too.