PR: Imposter syndrome? How about the opposite?

I’m listening to the Alastair Campbell diaries at the moment as an audio book.

It’s the story of how the driven to the point of destruction Daily Mirror political correspondent was recruited by the Labour opposition to become Tony Blair’s Press Secretary.

He’s acknowledged as a consummate media operator by his admirers and as the architect of some of the darker chapters in politics by critics.

One thing shines through the diaries and that’s self doubt and self reflection.

Am I good enough? 

Should I be here? 

There is a lot discussed in PR circles about Imposter Syndrome but not enough, frankly, about the polar opposite of this in PR or public life.

Dunning Kruger sets out the anti-imposter syndrome. In this theory, those who suffer from it have a greatly overstated opinion of their own abilities but they are doubly cursed by not knowing it. 

The original research from 1999 has been developed to show that people who think they can often cannot. 

It got me thinking to Liz Truss and her 44-day reign as Prime Minister.

There is unlikely to be a market for a thick Thatcher diaries-style account of her rise to power, how she navigated events and how she fell from grace.

But there is for a self-reflective study of her own limitations and her account of where things went wrong.

But, of course, that would need self-reflection. I’ll leave that for others to decide how much she may have.

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