10 Differences between Cockiness and Confidence

You have heard it said that there is a thin line between confidence and cockiness, but the truth is they are miles apart. A cocky leader is not a leader with simply too much confidence; confidence and cockiness are very different traits all together. Here are ten differences between cockiness and confidence.

1. Confidence can come from a good place; cockiness never does.

One can be confident and humble at the same time. In fact, Christian humility fuels confidence. The person who has humbly received the grace of God can be confident because his sins are forgiven. He does not, in pride, think he achieved God’s approval, but knows he humbly received it.

2. Confident leaders inspire; cocky leaders repulse.

People enjoy following a leader who is confident in the direction and confident in the mission of the team. People are repulsed by cocky, self-absorbed leaders.

3. Confident leaders learn from others; cocky leaders have all the answers.

It takes confidence to humbly admit you are not an expert in everything. Cocky leaders believe no one can offer them anything, thus they miss out on the wisdom of others.

4. Confident leaders seek to serve others; cocky leaders seek to be served.

Confident leaders understand their leadership is not ultimately for them, but it is for others. Cocky leaders use their roles to be served and to further their own reputations and agendas.

5. Confident leaders enjoy feedback; cocky leaders resist it.

Confident leaders crave feedback because it makes them better and they desire to continue to grow. Cocky leaders are threatened by feedback because they feel it hurts their persona or brand.

6. Confident leaders care about the people; cocky leaders care about perception.

Confident leaders see themselves as stewards and servants who are in their roles for the people. Cocky leaders are consumed with how they are perceived and lead through that lens.

7. Confident leaders make decisions for the mission; cocky leaders make decisions for their personal brands.

Confident leaders think about and make choices that are centered on the advancement of the mission, while cocky leaders have their decision-making clouded by their obsession with their own name.

8. Confident leaders recover from struggles; cocky leaders are demoralized by them.

A confident leader is not ruined by struggles and failure, mainly because his or her identity is not found in the role. Cocky leaders find their worth in their performance so they are crushed when things don’t go as planned.

9. Confident leaders develop others; cocky leaders are threatened by others.

Confident leaders love to see others developed and they know it is a test of their own leadership. Cocky leaders are threatened by others and hamper their development.

10. Confident leaders think of others first; cocky leaders think of themselves first.

Confident leaders think first of others and the organization. Cocky leaders are willing to hurt others and the organization to advance themselves.