Confident Or Arrogant? 10 Ways Leaders Must Be Sure

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People want to follow confidence, not arrogance.

There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, but it’s a line that effective leaders dare not cross if they want to be a leader worth following.

Confidence is achieved when a track record of competence, experience and wisdom all comes together. The result is a compelling sense of boldness that teams love to follow.

But if you’re not careful, your sense of confidence can begin to slide over the line into arrogance. The arrogant leader is not simply someone with a strong sense of self-assurance; it’s someone with an unhealthy sense of self-importance.

When that happens, teams begin to pull away. Loyalty becomes harder to achieve. And inevitably, results begin to suffer.

Although the danger to slide from confidence into arrogance is very real, it can be avoided. And the best way to avoid the slide is to watch out for these 10 arrogance indicators-

  1. Instead of looking for ways to serve your team, you are looking for ways for your team to serve you.

  2. Instead of owning poor results, you are spinning poor results.

  3. Instead of shielding your team from blame, you are exposing your team to blame.

  4. Instead of deflecting praise, you are absorbing praise.

  5. Instead of focusing on team goals, you are starting to focus on personal achievement.

  6. Instead of engaging your team, you are starting to drive your team.

  7. Instead of being the first to listen, you are starting to become the first to talk.

  8. Instead of learning and developing, you are starting to rest and stagnate.

  9. Instead of leading from your passion, you are starting to lead from your position.

  10. Instead of an open-door policy, you are using an invitation-only policy.

Give yourself this simple assessment test from time to time, or better yet, ask a trusted colleague to give you their perspective of you through the lens of these assessments.

At the first sign that a hint of arrogance is creeping in, do whatever it takes to make a change.

Because people want to follow confidence, not arrogance.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.


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