- Women wait for perfection: “Underqualified and underprepared men don’t think twice about leaning in. Overqualified and overprepared, too many women still hold back. Women feel confident only when they are perfect. Or practically perfect.” Yes. Perfect is the enemy of good — and done is better than perfect. From another section: “Women applied for a promotion only when they met 100 percent of the qualifications. Men applied when they met 50 percent.”
- Overconfident, incompetent people get ahead: “Infuriatingly, a lack of competence doesn’t necessarily have negative consequences. Among Anderson’s students, those who displayed more confidence than competence were admired by the rest of the group and awarded a high social status. ‘The most confident people were just considered the most beloved in the group,’ he said. ‘Their overconfidence did not come across as narcissistic.'”
- School and life have different barometers for success: “As Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor and the author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, put it to us: ‘If life were one long grade school, women would be the undisputed rulers of the world.’ … And yet the result is that many girls learn to avoid taking risks and making mistakes. This is to their detriment: many psychologists now believe that risk taking, failure, and perseverance are essential to confidence-building. … What a vicious circle: girls lose confidence, so they quit competing, thereby depriving themselves of one of the best ways to regain it. They leave school crammed full of interesting historical facts and elegant Spanish subjunctives, proud of their ability to study hard and get the best grades, and determined to please. But somewhere between the classroom and the cubicle, the rules change, and they don’t realize it. They slam into a work world that doesn’t reward them for perfect spelling and exquisite manners. The requirements for adult success are different, and their confidence takes a beating.”
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