“ 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