A certain Hollywood bad boy (Charlie Sheen anyone?) has upped the ante in his bid to become THE poster boy of entitled arrogance. CBS finally took the hint and mothballed his show, at least for the current season.
Yes, self-confidence (think George Clooney) is a good thing. Arrogance, not so much. Take successful consultants, attorneys, advisors and the like–we have confidence burned into our DNA. It fuels us to pursue new clients (who say “no” more often than “yes”), challenge conventional thinking and avoid collusion.
But excess confidence can morph quickly into snarkiness or even outright arrogance. It has undone more than one promising career. Beware if you approach the line…
Confident: Knowing you have done thorough preparation and are fully ready for a key meeting.
Arrogant: Relying on your ability to think on your feet, you recycle an approach that worked for a previous client.
Confident: Considering your remarks carefully, scanning the room for reactions and changing course when you see a disconnect (or you’re becoming a bore).
Arrogant: Making a few off-the-cuff comments, not bothering to make eye contact with your audience, and using up all the oxygen in the room.
Confident: Treating your client as the valued person they are, without false flattery.
Arrogant: Riding roughshod over your client’s feelings or culture.
You get the picture. In Hollywood terms, channel George Clooney vs Charlie Sheen.
p.s. Special thanks to my pal Bob Greene who insisted I write about his formerly favorite TV show.