American Bar Association

It goes without saying that a certain level of self-confidence is essential to becoming a successful leader. But at what point does self-confidence take a turn for the worse and become arrogance, or an even further extreme, narcissism. This can be a difficult question and one that I have pondered in the past. So much so, that it prompted me to write an article entitled, “Be Confident Not Arrogant: How to Not Cross that Thin Dividing Line.” Essentially, as the title suggests, the article discussed the virtues of confidence along with the pitfalls of arrogance and included suggestions on how to navigate the “thin line” that separates the two. While the article’s focus was professional development as a lawyer, its overall theme had broader implications. Here is an excerpt:

In its simplest form, confidence is the belief in yourself and your abilities overall, while arrogance is an exaggerated form of this concept—both in terms of an individual’s importance and abilities. More specifically, it can be said that:

  • Arrogant people act superior and are often condescending in nature, while confident people are well liked and make others feel comfortable.
  • Arrogant people are often insecure and need constant validation, while confident people are cognizant of their areas of strength and are willing to admit their deficiencies.
  • Arrogant people feed on making others feel less important or intelligent, while confident people look internally to succeed both at the task at hand and in their career generally.

To read the entire article on the American Bar Association website, click here

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