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In Strictest Confidence

How to instill faith in yourself--and in employees at the same time.

This story appears in the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Every field has organizations that assemble long strings of successes, while others seem stuck in endless failure. Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter says both are caused by the same force. ln Confidence (Crown, $27.50), the renowned management writer says some people and groups succeed not because they're more talented, but largely because their leaders give them the confidence to rise to the challenge.

In Kanter's view, confidence rests on three pillars: accountability, collaboration and initiative. Accountability comes from setting high internal standards and pursuing them whatever the cost. Collaboration begins with reaching out yourself, then encouraging others to do the same. Initiative gets going when you present your people with achievable steps, then insist on action.

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