Rosabeth Moss Kanter will convince you that the goal of winning is not losing two times in a row. In her view, success and failure are not events, they are self-fulfilling tendencies. "Confidence is the sweet spot between arrogance and despair--consisting of positive expectations for favorable outcomes." says Kanter, a Harvard Business School Professor and author of The Change Masters
She applies the literature of cognitive psychology (dissonance, explanatory models, learned optimism) to explore the winning and losing streaks of a diverse lineup including the BBC, Gillette, Verizon, Continental Airlines, the Chicago Cubs, and Target. The result is a brilliant anatomy lesson of the big decisions and the small gestures that build and restore confidence.
Three cornerstones are clearly detailed: "Accountability," the actions that involve facing facts without humiliation; "Collaboration," the rituals of respect that create teamwork, and "Initiative/Innovation," the "kaleidoscope thinking" that unlocks energy and creativity. A standout chapter describes how Nelson Mandela created a culture of confidence in South Africa. Some readers may wish for more strategies about positive habits of mind in individuals. Others will search for a quick fix. Instead, Moss Kanters in-depth examples and ideas about resilient organizations will become required reading. They add up to a persuasive and informed optimism. --Barbara Mackoff
A Business Week
. . . makes the compelling argument that the people who succeed are the people who expect to succeed.” —Elle
“A successful book on leadership that illuminates the underlying principles applicable to teams and small businesses as well as schools, corporations, and countries.” —Washington Post
“Well-researched and engaging. . . . Kanter is a witty and entertaining writer.” —Miami Herald
“Finally, there’s a powerful book that digs out the truth about winners in every walk of life.” —David Gergen, editor at large, U.S. News and World Report
, and presidential counselor From the Trade Paperback edition.