The Differences Between Cocky, Confident, and Crap Leaders

Lego Leader in a Suit


Cocky leaders speak to you as if you were put on God’s greenery to serve them.

Confident leaders speak in a way that serves others.

Crap leaders never leave their corner office, thus never speak to anyone other than through their executive assistant.


Cocky leaders love titles. They lord power like a medieval king.

Confident leaders make titles obsolete.

Because power is not the goal. The goal is the goal. Imagine that.


Lego Leader in a Suit
Photo Credit: Andrew Becraft – Creative Commons


Cocky leaders receive feedback like a cat receives a bath. Because any criticism is a direct attack on the AMAZING MUAH.

Confident leaders receive feedback, process it, and implement change when necessary.


Cocky leaders like to give answers. Even if they weren’t actually asked the question.

Confident leaders like to listen for input and advice.

Crap leaders only speak in memo’s and mass emails.


Cocky leaders are concerned with how they sound.

Confident leaders are concerned with how the message sounds.


Confident leaders are active listeners.

Cocky leaders are active talkers.

The most confident, competent people are those who don’t have to prove it with every. single. word.


Cocky leaders make it known they are the smartest people in the room.

Confident leaders allow others to be.

Crap leaders are never in the room because they’re always on some business trip to Maui.


Cocky-less Generation

So the question — how will our generation lead?

For Gen Y and Millennials has this Great Recession thrown cocky into the fire and pulled out authentic confidence in its place? Are we building a confidence that knows who we are and who we are not?

Our generation will be called to lead. And soon.

Will we be confident, cocky, or something that smells just as bad?

Photo Credit: Andrew Becraft – Creative Commons


  1. Tim VanMiddelkoop

    Read this earlier “An authority has the title. A leader has the people.”

    • admin

      Well said. Thanks Tim


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