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Last Update: Saturday September 18, 2021

Key Idea: Check Arrogance At The Door

Dr. Keith Grint is an author and professor of management.   He says that there there is a difference between arrogance and confidence.   More...

Key Question:


Never confuse modesty, humility, or being soft-spoken with a lack of confidence. Often the loudest, brashest manager who requires all those "yes men" is terribly insecure.

That’s why he needs to be constantly told he is right, to have his decisions reinforced. Confident leaders want to be challenged. They are concerned that they have overlooked something, missed an opportunity, or not seen a threat. Challenges broaden them, increasing their peripheral vision, and further empowering them to act in the best interest of the organization.

Think about it

Do your employees challenge you? Do they know that you want them to?

Clip from: Leadership with Keith Grint

Truly exchanging ideas is a starting point for leadership.

The World: Meet Prof. Dr. Keith Grint.  In this episode, he explains why we are so frustrated with the leadership who dominate the headlines. He makes it clear that it is time to turn away from the selfish people and look to each other to find the heart of real leadership. 

Dr. Grint says that having a vision is certainly a starting point but that the "vision thing" has been overrated. Anybody can have a dream or a picture of how they want their world or their company to look but very few are good at putting the plans in place then taking action on those plans to turn the vision into reality.

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Said Business School, Oxford

Keith Grint, Professor of Public Leadership

Executive Education Centre
Egrove Park

44 (0)1865 422800

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Check Arrogance At The Door

DR. GRINT: Well I think it's a very fine line between being confident and being arrogant. There are very few people who are confident enough not to be arrogant.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) These are the faces of confidence, not arrogance. Ken Done, Australia's most famous painter. Pamela Rogers, owner of Rodger's Chevrolet, a rare woman with an MBA who was succeeding in a male dominated industry. Gil Harper, owner of Weatherend, makers of fine outdoor furniture. And Tracy Myers, an entrepreneur who built a business for 20 years then sold it for millions.

DR. GRINT: I think the whole area of business encourages people who are going to be arrogant and confident and brash. You would not probably get very many people who are shy and retiring to be CEO's of major companies. There's an interesting book by Jim Collins, who talks about Level 5 leadership, and I think what, what Collins is saying is that bizarrely the most successful long term businesses are actually run by people who are personally modest as opposed to personally arrogant.


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