Saturday, 10 September 2011

Would you work with arrogant individuals?

A comment on LinkedIn from Michael Green led me to Jon Daniels' article: "Ten Traits of a Successful Salesman", subtitled "Ten Reasons Why I Am Successful in Sales".

A lot of the subject matter of Jon Daniels' post resonates, and the advice given is very valid (believe in yourself, see opportunities where others see problems, take action to achieve your goals, be enthusiastic, be prepared to swim against the stream).

But the "I'm the King of the Castle, look at me, aren't I wonderful" tone of the article, which I think the subtitle exemplifies, really rankled with me.

He says:
On my first date with my now wife she thought I was arrogant. She soon understood that it was not arrogance, it was self-confidence.
Hmm, it doesn't sound that way to me. Self-confidence and arrogance are two different things, and the tone of the article says to me "arrogance".

Self-confidence and self-belief draw others to you. Arrogance pushes them away.

The individuals I admire most in the business world are those successful folk who are conspicuously NOT arrogant. Michael Green himself is one. Emma Jones is another.

People who have achieved, and do achieve, a great deal in their business careers, but don't put potential contacts off working with them by bleating about how wonderful they are. Instead they use their talents and expertise to help others, through initiatives, and advice that is well-received - because it is delivered in a way that's confident but not arrogant.

To quote from one of my favourite childhood books, "Little Women" by Louisa M. Alcott:
"Conceit spoils the finest genius... [Talents] are always seen and felt in a person's manner and conversation, if modestly used; but it is not necessary to display them," said Mrs. March.
"Any more than it's proper to wear all your bonnets and gowns and ribbons at once, that folks may know you've got them," added Jo; and the lecture ended in a laugh.
While Jon Daniels' advice may be excellent, the tone of his article would make me think more than twice before working with him, or buying from him.

Do arrogant salespeople make you want to buy from them? Do arrogant people make you want to work with them? Or do they make you think "buzz off"?


  1. Thanks for the review Emily...very interesting.

  2. Thanks for reading this and for your response Jon.


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