1. With regard to education for sure and other careers most likely as well, Confidence should NOT be seen as a measure of knowledge ever. Indeed your first draft for the ‘Confidence’ column I believe confirms this thought / belief. The insincere or arrogant leader is all about knowledge: arrogant–>my knowledge is unquestionable; insecure–>my knowledge can’t be questionable. Contrast that with confident–>my knowledge is helpful but our knowledge and our problem Considerations will yield useful options!

    In education, a ‘teacher’ should be a leader / facilitator of Effective Learning – comfortable with healthy discussion (contrasted with information delivery) and believing that there’s a “better alternative” introduced by Stephen Covey that represents the enhanced understanding that results from that healthy discussion. Don’t see why this would not apply for any effort by any leader and group, either.

  2. I appreciate the spectrum that was provided.

    Where a leader falls on this spectrum is subjective. As a leader you may feel that you are hitting that sweet spot. However person A may think you are being arrogant. Meanwhile, person B may see you as lacking confidence.

    The subjective view in many ways is based on the experience of others and how often they interact and work with you.

  3. Great read. I would add that passion when combined with confidence keeps leaders strong and away from being portrayed as arrogant. When you really believe in what you are doing, confidence is contagious and creates an environment where people want what the leader has, knows, or is working towards.

  4. Love that table! I know the sway of confidence and insecurity that exists in all of us and agree that insecurity can look very much like arrogance in some people. Confidence in the things that we MUST do for our students is an important part of leadership. Insecurity can challenge us to continuously self-evaluate and make sure we are focusing on the right things. Arrogance is a relationship killer–effective leaders are listeners, learners and encouragers. You are a great role-model of this! Next book topic perhaps?

  5. Lwal

    The spectrum is such a great touch – it really shows how confidence is situated somewhere in the middle between insecurity and arrogance. I think people want a leader that is confident. A leader that is arrogant will always have a hard time garnering a following or teammates who want to work with and for him/her. Insecurity creates problems more so for the leader him/herself I would think. In highly demanding positions/fields, insecurity negatively impacts your head game and, as a result, your productivity and feelings of personal success and fulfillment in the role. Sometimes confidence is a personality trait and other times I feel like it can be developed through experience and experiences. Needless to say, confidence is a critical part of leadership, both for the leader and for his/her organization.

  6. Michael Palmer

    I was told there is a fine line between independence and arrogance. Independence could = confidence but I do not view independence nor confidence as negative characteristics. A confident leader who listens and supports new initiatives does so with the confidence that the new initiative will provide added value in the organization.

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