Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Confidence vs. Arrogance

The right dose of ego is tied to self-esteem, confidence, and balance.

Confidence is one of the most important leadership qualities to overcome challenges and deal with criticisms. Confidence is about having the right dose of ego to show self-respect, self-worth, self-esteem, self-awareness or self-actualization; but not about the overdose of ego showing arrogance or egotism. The management guru Peter Drucker has pointed out the greatest impedance to organizational success is too much ego or arrogance. This can be seen to encompass hubris. So, from the leadership perspective: What are the differences between confidence and arrogance? And how to become confident, not arrogant though?

Confident people respect various POVs, appreciate talent, capability or wisdom, and ignore negative criticism: Confident people “Listen, respect and respond," open to new knowledge, overcome “shadow thinking” with negative emotions (fear, envy, change inertia), in order to be flexible and willing to adapt to changes. Focus on the better way, neither your way nor our way. Be humble to accept constructive criticism, but also be confident to do what it benefits for overall business or the long-term perspective. And that means we have to consider various opinions from peers, colleagues and what we get to hear and read from information channels. Arrogant people often don't follow the golden rule and lack of discernment for making the progressive movement. Only if we are open enough to listen, discern, and adjust, we will provide the highest level of professionalism and leadership quality to the company, teams and even yourselves, and we become more confident and mature.

The real confident (not arrogant) people can often make more sound and objective judgment: Confident people don’t just show off their knowledge, but share insight; they are in the continuous learning mode, with the “beginner’s mindset” to keep absorbing new knowledge; and they eager to update their viewpoint when necessary. What is often perceived as arrogance is that people think they are the smartest person in the room with all answers; they only listen to the one side of the story; they refuse to admit even they make poor judgment or mistakes, or they lack the insight to dig beneath the problems. We are all humans and subject to certain character strengths and weaknesses. How we get to a final decision without (or at least with minimum) personal "opinion," but professional "objective" judgment, is what makes one leader. Besides soft quality, the hardcore of leadership is knowledge, insight, and wisdom in order to make sound judgments and solid decisions.

Confident people have the right dose of ego; but the arrogant people have the “overdosed” egotism:
Originally, Freud used the word ego to mean a sense of self but later revised it to mean a set of psychic functions such as judgment, tolerance, reality testing, control, planning, defense, synthesis of information, intellectual functioning, and memory. Everyone needs to have some ego for a sense of self-worth. But too much of everything is bad including the big headed ego, it turns into arrogance. Egotism is an excessive or exaggerated sense of self-importance. The confidence based on the healthy ego helps us succeed via our own strength and capability in a professional way. It is good to be confident in a natural way and there is no ego in that. However, if your confidence is based on trying to cover up your inner weakness or fear of being seen for who you really are that is definitely arrogance.

The right dose of ego is tied to self-esteem, confidence, and balance. Too much ego has one thinking too much of oneself--minimizing, marginalizing and dismissing the perspectives of others, being perceived as arrogance. Too little ego has one not believing in oneself, lack of self-awareness or self-actualization. The pendulum can swing to either side, the art is to strike the right balance, keep your ego under control, and make you a truly authentic, ultra-modern, and confident digital leader or professional today.


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