Executives who acknowledge their weak areas tend to be the most confident, writes Steven Berglas, a faculty member at Harvard Medical School's Department of Psychiatry. When Louis Gerstner was picked to head IBM in 1999, he admitted he didn't entirely understand the product line. That was brilliant, Berglas writes, because he pre-emptively acknowledged it and made it difficult for others to accuse him of being an outsider. Also, he defined IBM's path around his strengths.

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