It Takes Self Confidence to Get to the Top — and to Stay There

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence.

Last week, New England Patriot Head Coach Bill Belichick was caught spying on the New York Jets, videotaping their defensive signals during a game.  The McLaren Formula 1 racing team was also caught spying on their competition.  Big fines followed.

You can read more about this here:;_ylt=ApX8jsioj6PXPdT0GCBiycYL1vAI,0,6857546.column

This raises an interesting point about self confidence to me.  I don’t know anything about Formula 1 racing, so I’ll confine my comments to the Patriots’ situation.  For starters, the Patriots are good, very good.  I believe they are legitimate contenders to win the Super Bowl this year. 

This makes me wonder why they would need to resort to cheating.  In a way, it reminds me of the Watergate scandal that resulted in Richard Nixon resigning the US presidency.  If you’re old enough to remember back to 1971, there was little doubt that Nixon was going to be reelected in 1972.  Yet, members of his administration decided to burgle the offices of the Democratic National Committee.  Why?  What advantage could Nixon possibly gain from any information they stole?  There was none.  Even as the scandal was unfolding, Nixon was reelected in a landslide.  As I recall, George McGovern, his opponent, carried only one state – Massachusetts.  The only answer I have for this bizarre behavior was a lack of self confidence on the part of Mr. Nixon and CREEP, the Committee to Reelect the President (yes, they actually used that acronym).

The same seems to be true in Mr. Belichick’s case.  He is a very good coach.  He has a great team.  He should be able to win most games on that alone.  Yet, he resorted to cheating.  Why?  Again, my guess is a lack of self confidence.  The Patriots have been one of the elite teams in the National Football League for a long time.  My guess is that Mr. Belichick is feeling the pressure to keep them that way and to win another Super Bowl.  His confidence may be a little shaky.  Why else would he feel the need to cheat?

This is a dad situation for Mr. Belichick.  He was once regarded as a genius football coach who won three Super Bowls.  Now, he will also be remembered as the guy who cheated to win a game against a clearly inferior team.  That’s too bad.

There is a common sense point here.  It takes confidence to get to the top, but it takes an equal amount of confidence to stay there.  The pressure may be greater once you’ve reached the top, but self confident people know how to adapt to changing situations and to keep their competitive edge. 

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website to subscribe to my monthly ezine and for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


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