Jonathan Brun

Competence and Confidence

Steve Jobs is the stereotypical executive who predicts greatness for his company. The difference remains that he continuously delivers. His combination of competence and confidence is rarer than most people realize. To have a strong confidence in one’s own abilities is essential to success. Competence in your field is equally essential.

It is of course also necessary to listen and learn from others – something he failed to do the first time at Apple. Without confidence, competence is not worth very much. But with confidence and little competence, your successes will be short lived and fake.

Mystery – of the famous Mystery Method of Picking up Girls – explained he would rather be competent than confident. If you were to ride a motorcycle down a highway, would you prefer to have competence of confidence? He applies the same logic to a structured solicitation of females.

Learning from evolutionary biology and human behaviour, he engineers flawless approaches to any situation (3 guys – one girl, boyfriend – girlfriend, married, shy, hot, with friends…). Through his method, the most insecure guy can slowly become competent enough to get a good looking bird. Logic can triumph, but it can only take you so far.

The management world is awash with gurus, rules, suggestions and trends. All the recent management books (Good to Great, Tipping Point, Freakonomics…) are fantastic. They explain the theories and rules of society, but it is ultimately the person who takes charge who comes out on top. You have to want it, bad.

Here are a couple of Steve’s dramatic (and largely true) predictions:

Babe Ruth knew he was great:

“Perhaps the most famous moment in baseball history, and certainly of Babe’s career, came during Game 3 of the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. In 5th inning, after he had already hit one homer, Babe came up to bat. He ran the count to two balls and two strikes. Before Cubs pitcher Charlie Root hurled the next pitch, amid the heckling of Cubs fans, Babe pointed to the center field bleachers. Then he slammed what is believed to be the longest home run ever hit out of Wrigley Field, directly above the spot where he had pointed.”

Published on September 11, 2007