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Musings: Confidence vs. Arrogance

Our short musings on design, branding, business and the human condition.

After buying a new iPhone 4S this week, I’ve been reflecting on the chief person who helped create such a wonderful device. Steve Jobs. And that led me to consider one of his central tenets, that things in life, creativity, and business were either “insanely great” or “total shit,” and you can guess which side his opinions and ideas fell on. That is arrogance, not confidence.

There is a difference between the two. Arrogance is binary. It demands My Way. I’m right and you’re wrong. My idea is awesome and yours is utter crap. Confidence, on the other hand, shows trust in your own abilities and intelligence, especially if you’re right. But it also allows for the fact that there are other views, other options, and myriad possibilities beyond your own to consider. We would all be wise to suss out the difference.

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One Response to “Musings: Confidence vs. Arrogance”

  1. Ray Vellest says:

    I agree with your perspective about the differences in between “arrogance” and “confidence”, and there’s no doubt the latter demonstrate a much wiser character. But from my perspective, we live in a world where “the people” seems to value the former.

    A leader, whoever may be and whatever position it may hold, will always need to demonstrate a certain level of certainty to those who follow. A follower, mostly pushed by the social pressure of acceptance, will tend to approve a message that’s approved by many of its peers, resulting in the brainless absurdity that I call “the people”.

    With that said, “The people” will have serious difficulties to accept any leader, that in a wise attitude, acknowledge the world is grey rather than black and white. Bearing in mind that leaders are only leaders with the support of “the people”, many leaders see “arrogance” as what allows them to achieve their goals.

    On the other hand, a leader is also in a excellent position to educate “the people” into the myriad of possibilities to consider, and while this is no easy task, is pretty possible. Actually, some of the greatest improvements in this world was the result of leaders beyond their time, seeing the world beyond duality.

    I would love to live in a world where each single individual is capable of reasoning, and understands that we don’t live in a binary world. Actually, that would make my life much easier, so I’m with you on that one. Until this time comes, I’ll keep writing.

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