Identify and manage overconfidence.
One of your brightest and most ambitious team members, Alex, has just turned in his quarterly projections. As you read through the report, you see numerous errors, both numerical and grammatical. The work is sloppy and has obviously not been checked.
His sales projections for the upcoming quarter are more than double what you agreed, just a few days ago. Instead of following your guidance, he's putting the whole team – and your budget – at risk, by claiming that he'll achieve these sales figures.
Although Alex is one of your hardest workers, his overconfidence is starting to have a negative effect on others in the department, including you. He's taking unnecessary risks, making unrealistic predictions, and jeopardizing working relationships.
It takes strategy and finesse to manage an overconfident person, as well as a willingness to address the issue before it causes problems. In this article, we'll look at the dangers of overconfidence, and we'll explore how you can manage an overconfident person.
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Camerer, C. and Lovallo, D. (1999) Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach, The American Economic Review, Vol. 89, No. 1 (March, 1999), pp. 306-318. (Available here.)
Johnson, D.P. and Fowler, J.H. (2011) The evolution of overconfidence, Nature: International Weekly Journal of Science. Vol. 477, Issue 7364 (September 2011). (Available here.)