Tuesday, June 28, 2011


One of the most valuable currencies in today's day and age is CONFIDENCE.

The ability to generate within oneself a firm sense of belief, fueled by absolute clarity and conviction, creates a powerful force of nature. Confidence. With confidence leaders of nations and businesses have been able to transform the fates of their people, be they nationals, employees, shareholders, investors, whatever the case may be. Particularly in these times of immense economic, social and ideological challenge.

Confidence is not found within all people, or within all situations. For alchemy to occur, the generation of confidence demands courage, it demands a clear view of the future, it demands unwavering effort.

For onlookers, it is both intriguing and inspiring. And it can provoke a silent smile of 'bravo!'. That is, when such confident, sometimes incomprehensible acts, are fully understood.

On a recent episode of Fareed Zakaria's GPS, one of CNN's finest programmes exploring our
geo-politically changing times, Fareed put the spotlight on a nation that is making a dramatic move in literally changing the times. The issue: SAMOA, a tiny island nation in the South Pacific, has taken the brave decision to change its position on the International Date Line, moving from being GMT-11 to GMT+11. One single step, one day lost (December 30th, 2011 to facilitate the shift), a massive gain for the nation.


When news first broke of Samoa's desire to change its timezone, the idea spread around the world as an amusing 'because I can' move. Little thought or credit was given to exactly why such a change, like the nation's switch earlier in 2009 from driving on the right of the road to driving on the left, was occurring.

To look beyond the WHAT and deeper into the WHY reveals some remarkable, and remarkably confident, insight. It is all about the future - making a confident move to move the nation confidently forward in the future. From this perspective it all makes perfect sense, especially economically. A shift in time zone enables the tiny nation to make a big step forward in terms of leverage of regional commerce. Especially trade into and out of Samoa.

What is fascinating about the story of Samoa and its change in time zone, beyond the economic rationale, is the lovely example it gives of the level playing field that exists for a world on the move.

Regardless of size, stature and securities, a nation with a confident view of the future can dramatically change its position as an economy and society by taking even small steps in shaping its way of working with the world. One of the great things about the case of Samoa is how under-the-radar the nation, and region, has moved forward.

Confidence need not be noisy. Quiet, focused confidence can be far more impactful, and competitively potent, than high profile self-promotion.

Indeed, these are changing times. Small is gaining strength, quiet is making noise, subtle changes are having immense impact. Amusing is in fact astute. Confidence is as powerful as cash. And time is proving priceless.

Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2011

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