Roots of healthy confidence

John Baldoni describes leading as “taking initiative.” Initiative is risky and requires confidence. However, healthy confidence may turn into unhealthy arrogance.

Symptoms your healthy confidence may have gone too far

#1. Talking too much and listening too little

#2. Lack of open ended questions

#3. Concern for image overshadows authenticity

#4. Never apologizing

#5. Taking credit for other’s work

#6. Lying

#7. Disloyalty and lack of trust among colleagues and staff

#8. Making up your mind too quickly and then refusing to change

Finding the roots of healthy confidence

Healthy confidence is a result of alignment with organizational values, mission, and vision. When your attitudes embrace organizational values, when your decisions express organizational mission, when your outlook drives organizational vision, you have legitimate reason to be confident. You can say no to others and correcting people has context. In addition, dedicating organizational resources isn’t self-centered, you have cause to challenge others, and you can take healthy pride in behaviors that enhance organizational success.

One reason employees and leaders lack confidence may be organizational values, mission, and vision are empty words on dead white paper. They aren’t organizational life blood. Its leadership’s job to take these words and make them live. When they do, the foundation of healthy confidence is laid.

What if your confidence has become unhealthy arrogance?

Working to overcome arrogance may only exacerbate the problem.  With that in mind, I’ll venture one suggestion. Apologize to people. Take responsibility for behaviors that aren’t aligned with organizational values, mission, and vision.  When was the last time you apologized to someone? Can you remember? If you can’t remember, are you really so good as to never need to take responsibility for your shortcomings?


Thanks to Mike Myatt for his blog “Confidence vs. Arrogance.” His article got me thinking about this topic.


How can we bolster confidence without crossing the line into arrogance?