You’ve just walked out of the latest James Bond blockbuster, and suddenly, you’re standing in front of a mirror. In your mind’s eye, you’re a dashing secret agent in a tuxedo, sipping a dry martini, and your trusty Aston Martin is parked outside. At that moment, you’re convinced you could outsmart the KGB and a dozen other spy agencies with one hand tied behind your back. Your self-confidence is sky-high.
All this would have been fine if you stopped this fantasy as soon as you stepped away from that mirror, grew up and the reality of the world hit you.
But does it?
For some of us, this “James Bond effect” (a name we came up with! Our ode to Mr Bond) lingers far longer than it should. It’s one of those odd gold standards of human irrationality. Picture someone eyeing an F1 car, boldly claiming they’re the next Hamilton, even though they can barely ride a bicycle, let alone handle a Formula 1 beast.
Now picture the consequences of that same person at the wheels of an F1 car…. on an expressway.
This bias transforms ordinary individuals into self-proclaimed superheroes, often with disastrous consequences. You overestimate your abilities, become fixated on your ideas, and convince yourself that you alone can solve the world’s problems.
Now, picture carrying this Bond-inspired bravado into your workplace or leadership role. Consider the impact on your teams, your decision-making prowess, and your capacity for self-correction and trust.
This is where overconfidence bias meets confirmation bias meets the saviour complex.
What could possibly go wrong?
Diamonds are maybe forever but best to leave Mr Bond behind at the movies!
⚡New to the SHIFT?
This is a peek behind the curtain on applying behaviour science to work, personal life, and everything in between.
Join 3,500+ leaders who use science to shift behaviours.