Leading with Confidence, Not Arrogance

Aaron is a garment decorating and personalization expert. He's been in the digital printing industry since 1997 and actively involved in industry trade shows via speaking, attending, and exhibiting. He writes on marketing, social media, the personalization market, and garment decorating topics for industry magazines. He's dedicated to helping small businesses grow and co-hosts the 2 Regular Guys podcast. For more info, visit aaronmontgomery.info.

Leadership is a funny thing, and honestly, most "leaders" or managers of people get it completely wrong. We have this vision of a leader in our society of these hard-nosed, hard-charging, yelling and screaming "get it done" type people. These are the heroic leaders. These are the leaders we have learned about since school—people like Teddy Roosevelt, George Patton, and Andrew Jackson. While at times our world needs these types of leaders, most businesses do not. Most businesses actually need a quiet leader who can execute a plan, manage personalities, and bring a group of people together to solve complex issues.

The quote from Hillel the Elder, "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?" embodies the question being asked in my opinion. We must be confident in ourselves first, but at the same time we must put others' needs before ours and elevate the group to be an effective leader. You have to trust the people you are leading through building a relationship with them and then empower them to take the necessary actions for success. This makes you a leader without arrogance. What truly matters is what goes on in the background to be successful, not who gets credit for this or that.

Then, finally, to be confident in the face of that succession of decision-making, you need to have a backup plan and look at the long-term goal. In fact, I would say a confident leader not only has one back up plan but several different visions of how the outcome might look if things don't go according to plan A, plan B, or so on. Cover your bases by doing the long-term planning and let the steps and successes along the way be in the hands of those you work with.

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