Do you hate working with people who think they are always right?  You know the ones.  No matter what the question, they ALWAYS have an answer.  They are direct.  Want to be correct. And want everyone around them to know how great they are.  Is this a good leader?

Is this confidence … or arrogance?

And how does this impact your leadership?  Your brand? Your followers?  And the impact and results you make?

I’m sure you know people like this.


They have to be right, and even when they are wrong, they have to put others down to feel that they are correct.

I call it, “Big E Energy.” 

E is for Ego.  Super-high ego.  

But what is the difference between confidence and arrogance?

Confidence is knowing that you have the capability.  It comes from our experiences and learning from what happened previously.  This confidence helps shape your judgment.  Over time, you build up self-confidence….which is an internal reputation you have about yourself.  We need to think about this to have sustained success in our career and to focus in on the right kind of leadership development and to shape our leadership brand.

Arrogance, on the other hand, isn’t based on experience.  It’s based on a false illusion where we overestimate ourselves.  Some say it because there is a lack of the other E-word…empathy.  The lower the empathy, the higher one’s arrogance can be.  

With arrogance comes a huge ignorance of blind spots, and we think we are better than we are.  

This can result in prioritizing our ego and self-interest, before others.


I am watching the Bernie Madoff Netflix series, The Monster of Wall Street,.  There was one part that stood out for me so far.

Bernie could either accept being a LIAR or accept being a FAILURE.  He didn’t want to be seen as a failure, so he accepted being a liar.  Fascinating.  How powerful can our fears be?

Arrogance makes people make decisions that are best for them, not the people or for the organization.  This also can create a toxic work environment.

Here are the sexy parts of confidence, and how to do it.

  1. Be open to ideas.  Seek to understand where others are coming from.
  2. Recognize where you can learn, and be willing to make, celebrate, and share your mistakes.
  3. Listen, listen, listen.  (even when you are stressed and busy)
  4. Ask for feedback and input from others.


It’s a delicate dance of confidence and being humble, yet having a purpose and a goal.  Think about the work culture that you are creating as a leader.  Is it productive and positive?  Or is it intimidating and toxic?  Don’t know?  Ask around.