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“When you have true confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.”
~Joe Namath

There’s a difference between true confidence and pretend confidence, the over-confidence we call arrogance.

And while we know that the source of true confidence is a deep faith in one’s own resilience, abilities and resources, it doesn’t mean you have all the answers, or are always prepared, or are always right.

It means you believe you know enough, are prepared enough, and are good enough, even when wrong.

Forsaking that foundational belief—and it’s a key one at the C-suite level—undermines true confidence and obscures our authentic-self as surely as a lampshade covers a light bulb.

Dims the leadership lamp, big time.

But how do you tell the difference between real confidence and fake confidence (because sometimes it’s subtle)?

In my book it comes down to this:  How do you feel in the presence of the person?

  • Confidence builds up; arrogance tears down
  • Confidence encourages; arrogance discourages
  • Confidence inspires; arrogance intimidates
  • Confidence includes; arrogance excludes

Bottom line: Whenever you pretend, people can sense it and you run the risk of being perceived as arrogant. That’s not fun.

You’ve heard the old adage, “Fake it until you make it.”?


Just be yourself. Believe you’re good enough. It’s the soil in which true confidence takes root.

And the next time someone you deem arrogant enters your sphere, be nice: they’ve temporarily forgotten they’re good enough.

You need real confidence to do amazing things.

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