// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

REPOST: Confidence -vs.- Enthusiasm

Those who know me well may be surprised to hear me admit that deep down I'm not particularly confident. Admittedly I fake it rather well. But between me, myself, and I (and now you), confidence has never come naturally. To the contrary, and to make up for this deficit, I've spent a career planning, paying attention, and practicing in order to be a strong performer. Therefore I believe it's safe to say that being a good performer isn't necessarily indicative of confidence in oneself.

Having said that, my desire to perform well and serve others and the passion and fitness associated with that, compared to my lack of confidence of late, has really been troubling. Deeply. Having internalized this much of late, I can't tell you how grateful I was to get a new perspective on just what it is that's been digging at me of late. In this article, by a smart person who I admire, and whose blog I subscribe to via his RSS feed, he shares five reasons why enthusiasm is better than confidence. To me, this is a refreshing bit of encouragement—news to my ears if you will, as it helps me to consider how enthusiasm and passion, two things which do come naturally to me, may in fact be related to my desire to do great work and produce value for my employer.

Boiled down to it's essence, confidence is always about yourself. Your position and concerns. Enthusiasm on the other hand, is about the work you’re presenting, the information you want to share, the message you’re trying to get across, etc. Not about your own position, rather the concern for others; your desire to share and learn and teach. And ultimately as an creative leader, to do great work that adds value.
I can't say with certainty this will resonate with you in the way it has for me, but I find Mark McGuinness's perspective innovative, refreshing, and a huge encouragement which couldn't have come at a better time. Read the entire article here.

( via wishfulthinking )

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Blogger Amy_Kathleen said...

I printed the article out and it is now on my wall. That hit the nail on the head!

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Liz Ness said...

I'd fogotten about this post and am so glad that you did a repost on it. Perfect timing and a great reminder, I think ... thanks Barry!

5:00 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Excellent. I'm glad this resonated with you too. The way this looks at the differentiation describes a fine balance between knowing what you're doing, but not coming across like a know it all. Also shows how everyone I see as an effective leader may in fact be more bent towards the enthusiasm side. Those who are really good and are enthusiastic seem to want to bring others along on the ride. Those who are over confident, I have found, are generally more interested in position. Specifically their own.

6:32 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...


Glad this hit you at the right time. I appreciate your continued encouragement and post comments. It makes the lonely world of blogging seem, well, worth it.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous C Tobias said...

Barry, this post is successful in putting into words something that I have held to, but have never been able to articulate.

Clients who recognize the value of having an enthusastic designer on board for whatever design project will be certain not to squash that enthusiasm, but feed off of it. In the end they will have a much better chance of success.

If I only went to "work" when confident, I would absent a good deal of the time!

1:38 AM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Well said. It ceases to amaze me how often people in charge of a project gravitate towards control in lieu of results. As a leader, when you champion an idea, and embrace the enthusiasm as a team, there is a chance you might not get recognized personally for the results, but quite often that nurturing of the creative process—the creative spirit if you will—ends up making a project prosper. Not being recognized personally for a team's success forces a lot of people to hold great ideas back. It's unfortunate. And from your particular perspective as a consultant designer, the irony is while you can get frustrated by it all, the client is ultimately the loser.

6:30 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts