A managers arrogance is one of the things that make them successful

“ I am the greatest” Mohammad Ali said it and it was arguable true since at the time he was the undisputed world champion. It was certainly boastful and probably deliberately intended to get publicity and sell more tickets for his next fight. He was great box office and he knew it. 


 Arrogance is usually associated with over confidence and a distain for those less able or less committed as such arrogance is seen as a negative trait. But in some areas of life such as in sport arrogance is seen as a positive, present in champions and a factor in making them winners. I have heard coaches refer to individuals as needing to be more arrogant in order to make the most of their superior talent. Successful football managers are frequently described as arrogant for believing their way is the only way and refusing to even consider alternative views. Brian Clough was one of the most successful managers of his era and he was referred to even by those who admired him as ,”old big head” - “ I don’t think I’m the best football manager in the world but I am on a short list of one”. 


So could arrogance be indicator of success provided it is balanced out by other traits ? Arrogance without exceptional talent would just be arrogance. But arrogance together with agreeableness, integrity, vision and the ability to inspire would be a strong indicator of future success as a leader. In such an individual it would not so much be arrogance as decisiveness, confidence and  resilient .


Blair Mcpherson former local authority Director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk 



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Mark Bartlett 1 Year Ago

Blair, the use of the N-word in this blog is extremely inappropriate and offensive.

Iain Morrison 1 Year Ago

It's a quote, are you accusing Mohammad Ali of racism against himself?

Mark Bartlett 1 Year ago in reply to Iain Morrison .

Hi Iain - No, I wasn't accusing Mohammad Ali of being racist, that would be absurd. Knowledge Hub is a cross-government knowledge sharing platform set up by the Government Commercial Function. Racist language is not appropriate on the platform or in general and is extremely offensive. I would have thought this was obvious.

Blair McPherson 1 Year Ago

Disappointed that a few people aren’t willing to acknowledge the significance of context when making judgments about the appropriateness of language.  

Mark Bartlett 1 Year ago in reply to Blair McPherson .

Blair, would you have read this blog to an audience, out-loud, onstage and unedited at a government forum?

Blair McPherson 1 Year ago in reply to Mark Bartlett .

I would have but now I’m not so sure because it is a distraction from what the piece is about. 

Mark Bartlett 1 Year ago in reply to Blair McPherson .

No doubt you'd have tried to sell your books on equality and diversity afterwards as well...