Breakthrough Leadership: Prevent Egotism w/ Self-Confidence | #peopleskills

As leaders strive to improve their leadership, they use their self-confidence to guide and sustain them through the learning. Those who believe they need no improvement suffer from egotism; those they lead suffer in it.

Recently one leader asked me: “How do you know if it’s self-confidence or egotism?”

Breakthrough Leadership: Prevent Egotism w/ Self-Confidence Image by:SweetDreamzDesign

Image by: Sweet Dreamz Design via Creative Commons License.

True self-confidence prevents egotism!

  • Self-confidence opens the ears to feedback.

    This provides a steady stream of learning for realignment. Conversely, egotism makes you deaf. It blocks learning and growth.

  • Self-confidence compels you to use your gifts to serve others.

    Egotism demands others applaud your gifts as a sign of your perfection.

  • Self-confidence fuels true humility.

    It propels all to learn from mistakes and equalizes all on human qualities. Meanwhile, egotism dislikes humility and mislabels it as weakness and humiliation.

  • Self-confidence grows out of understanding your purpose in life.

    In leadership, true self-confidence elevates purpose about the personal. Conversely, egotism flourishes in personal needs over purpose.

  • Self-confidence is keenly aware of the reality.

    It handles the surprise ups and downs of reality very well. On the other hand, egotism plants its roots firmly in denial.

  • Self-confidence embraces doubt as a pathway to learning the truth.

    Egotism squashes doubt in the fear it will reveal the truth.

  • Self-confidence finds greatness in differences.

    Self-confidence revels in elevating diverse talents. Egotism judges differences as unworthiness.

  • Self-confidence allows leaders to shine through their teams’ achievements.

    A leader’s egotism nullifies the team’s importance to protect his or her insecurity.

Self-confidence fuels breakthrough leadership. It allows you to overcome weaknesses and status quo for the good of all you lead.

For example, if you are afraid of conflict yet confident to learn how to overcome your anxiety, you mediate and facilitate with success. If your initial definition of leadership was mostly directive, your self-confidence enables you to engage others’ ideas to meet changing needs of global business.

Egotism, which grounds its power in the status quo, stifles leaders and those they lead. Egotism crushes others to survive the crush of its own insecurity.

Egotism blocks reversal of direction even when it’s clear that the direction is taking business to the cliff. When there is a crisis, egotists are more likely to deny or blame. Self-confident leaders look boldly at the crisis and all its possible causes (including themselves) to solve it and prevent recurrence.

If you are open to feedback, welcoming insights, and always assessing your blind spots, you are using your self-confidence for breakthrough leadership. Kudos!

YOUR TURN: What can leaders do to prevent sudden insecurity from becoming egotism?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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~Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

11 Responses to “Breakthrough Leadership: Prevent Egotism w/ Self-Confidence | #peopleskills”

  1. Kate, I love your distinction between self-confidence and egotism. I’ve also seen how one person thinks something is “confident” and another calls it “arrogant.” I like what you say about true self-confidence fueling humility.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Skip. So pleased you offered your perspective on this.

      Arrogance, too, as you say is often confused with confidence. If we remember to understand others as well as communicate our talents, it minimizes the risk of arrogance.

      A collaborator’s greatness is rarely seen as arrogance.


  2. Yes Kate, it is amazing how many people get this one wrong. Not just for themselves, also for others. One of the things I allowed for years to hold me back, people calling me arrogant when I was standing in my full power & brilliance in the moment. When our wings are new and not fully formed we can vacillate back into the safety of our nests. It can take time for some of us to differentiate, when they are speaking from their own fear and weakness VS wanting to give you “feedback.”

    Feels really good when we lay down the mantle that is not ours and shine our lights brightly.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Michele,
      Fear and weakness is a powerful duo and often spews out on others. When leaders do it to their teams, it can squash success!

      Thank you for offering this perspective here.

      Grateful for your time and insights.

  3. Kate,

    Self confidence doesn’t allow you to get hung up on the petty issue others. When we are confident in ourselves we allow ourselves to revel in the success of others without feeling slighted. Too many feel that confidence is arrogance when it is a feeling of empowerment that we experience to shine our own light – and shine it on others as well. Confidence knows how to share the stage with others as well. Truly, this is the message resonates with me and I hope others as well. Thank you.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Jen,
      Hooray — I love your thought: “When we are confident in ourselves we allow ourselves to revel in the success of others without feeling slighted. When leaders are in this zone they can engage, inspire, and lift all to success!

      Many thanks for your input today.

  4. Jon Mertz says:

    Some great points, Kate. It is essential to have the self-confidence to get feedback and to resolve problems. It is about having a sense of self in order to sort through the challenges in a meaningful way. At the center of this is purpose. If we have a solid sense of purpose in how we lead, then we will lead in a better way.

    Self-confidence needs a leadership purpose at the center, along with an engaging and receptive attitude and mindset.

    Great distinctions made here in your post and an essential leadership principle.



    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Jon,
      So pleased you found this post thought-provoking. “Purpose” is actually one of the key indicators that helps each person avoid the egotism and develop/deliver valuable self-confidence.

      My thanks to you this year for all your great posts (which I recommend to my network), your keen eye towards subtle differences, and your comments here at Smart SenseAbilities(TM).


  5. Dave Moore says:

    Terrific post Kate,

    I have always been aware of the egotism of some people who have an ‘I know everything’ attitude, as I see them miss/ overlook/ be blind to/ be deaf to, an idea or remark that will either take them in a new direction or the company forward a lot quicker.

    Confidence is inspiring and customers pick up on this. A confident salesperson will always be head and shoulders (at least) ahead of someone who is egotistical and certainly ahead of someone who is arrogant.

    I instilled confidence in all of my salespeople to such an extent that when they were unsure of something a customer asked them, instead of bluffing it, they had the confidence to say ‘I don’t know but, it is obviously important so I will find out for you’. thats a statement an arrogant or egotistical person would NEVER use, and thats why they are not in front.

    Its a fine line between arrogant and confident but only in the perception, I think. Confident people sell their products assuredly, and convey that confidence to the client. Arrogant/ egotistical salespeople do not sell to the clients needs, they sell to their own agenda.

    I Love reading your blog Kate and I am always inspired. You raise the bar high.

    All the best


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Many thanks Dave. You can hear the confidence (not arrogance) in the statement you taught your sales people. I love “It is obviously very important so I will …”. Not only is that great confidence it is also great service and a rapport builder that echoes throughout the customer’s world as well.

      Warmest wishes for a Happy New Year.

  6. Kate Nasser says:

    Dear La Rae,
    I always love to have individual (personal) stories added to these posts. Thank you for adding yours. I love your point that egotism deflates and shows its weakness when faced with adversity.

    As for self-confidence and humility, I know they can co-exist. I think those that confuse self-confidence w/ egotism are the ones that mistakenly connect it with “not humble enough”.

    Thanks for joining in this discussion!
    Regards …. Kate

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