Leaders inspire others by their example and so leaders must be visible, whether in a corporate setting or an entrepreneurial one, in small groups or on a worldwide stage.
Jim Collins is a business consultant and author on company sustainability and growth; in his book “Good to Great (2001)” Collins argues that the key ingredient that allows a company to become great is having an executive in whom genuine personal humility blends with intense professional will.
Visibility used to be restricted to the people you met; now you can interact on a global stage using your smart phone. People’s memories fade but a digital footprint lasts forever. Navigating the line between confidence and arrogance is as old as leadership itself but having an online presence ups the ante. Leaders now have an ‘online brand’; you’ve got a LinkedIn profile – right? Whether you call it a brand, or your reputation, whether it’s online or in person, how you come across as a leader impacts your ability to influence others. Too much humility and you’ll be an invisible wallflower, too little and you run the risk of being an arrogant oaf.
Here are some definitions in the context of leadership:
- Confidence: A feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities:
- Arrogant: Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities:
- Humility: Recognizing what we do well, as well as what we do not do so well, is vital to self-awareness, openness and having a clear perspective, and therefore respect, for one’s place in context.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” (C. S. Lewis)
Perception is reality. No matter how good your intentions are, what matters is how you are perceived. Here are 10 ways to stay on the confident side of the line…
- Maintain eye contact (arrogant people constantly look over people’s shoulder for someone ‘better’ to talk to)
- Arrive on time, every time (arrogant people think their time is more important than everyone else’s)
- Walk with confidence (not with swagger)
- Admit you don’t know and learn something in the process (arrogant people have an answer for everything and as a result are often unteachable).
- Seek to be interested more than interesting (arrogant people are more concerned with telling you what they know)
- Talk about your relevant accomplishments and contacts (arrogant people brag and name-drop out of context)
- Acknowledge what others do (don’t be condescending or put others down)
- Talk about the strengths of your own company (not the weaknesses of others)
- Delegate authority and responsibility (arrogant people “pull rank”)
- Adopt a “buck stops here” attitude to responsibility (arrogant people blame others when things don’t go to plan)
This guest blog was written by associate Dr Angela Armstrong of http://www.angelaarmstrong.com. Please contact Angela is you would like to know more about her coaching, consultancy and training.