Confidence versus Egocentricity
The line between being confident and being egocentric is very thin. Confidence helped you get to where you are, or helps you get to where you ultimately want to be. But, allowing that confidence to metamorphose into egocentricity can quickly undermine your credibility as someone who can effectively manage or lead people.
For all you managers and leaders out there, this can be a treacherous road to navigate. This especially holds true for you younger leaders just getting started in your managerial careers. Although, to be fair, falling into this trap is not exclusive to those of you who are limited in your years. That said, it is much easier to correct bad behavior the earlier that you are able to recognize it.
(For the record, yes, I do believe you can teach an “old dog” new tricks. And, no, I will not tell you how old an “old dog” is.)
Confidence is a wonderful thing to have. To achieve any measure of success, you must be self-assured in your abilities. It is this quality that pushes you to exceed expectations and ultimately, to reach your goals. Confidence is knowing that you can do it, even when you don’t yet know how to do it. Great leaders ooze with confidence. People naturally will want to follow you if you exude confidence when demonstrated through your attitude, your behavior, and your actions.
But, when self-assured becomes self-absorbed and self-serving, those same followers will be quickly running toward the exits. For instance, if you let your egotistical side take over, one of the most common tendencies is to believe that you are right at all costs; that it’s your way or the highway. Conversely, if you are able to check your ego at the door, you will realize that it is ok to believe, or even to be convinced, that you are right while at the same time understanding that the onus is on you to persuade those who follow you as to why you are right.
President Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” Your confidence will be what allows you to do that. Your ego will just get in the way.