The Difference Between Swagger And Arrogance In Leadership

Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.
4 min readDec 8, 2023

Understanding This Can Be The Key To Your Success

It is often said that “Confidence” is needed to Succeed as a Leader.

However, that is not always true.

Though Confidence does have importance, in Reality it can show up in different ways.

On the positive end, Confidence can give you a Swagger.

It can give you a felt presence that others become attracted to.

In some ways, that “Swagger” rubs off on those around you, which is part of what makes them “want” to be around you.

However, there can also be a Negative side to Confidence.

Sometimes, Confidence ends up looking like Arrogance.

There are many terrible things that happen on this end of the spectrum.

Higher rates of Turnover.

Higher likelihood for Quiet Quitting and Active Disengagement.

So as a Leader, how do you attain that Positive Confidence?

At the end of the day, it comes down to one thing:

Being an Exemplar.

See, “Confidence” is only one aspect of the puzzle for Leaders.

Who we are and what we DO is the other aspect.

Do you just Talk the Talk?

Or do you actually Walk the Walk?

How FAR do you Walk the Walk?

The body of research around this would be called “Eudaimonolgy”, or the Study of Flourishing.

Confidence means NOTHING to others if there is nothing behind your Confidence.

The more you Walk the Walk, the FARTHER you go with it, the more Confidence looks like Swagger.

I can give you an example from my own life.

Why do I have so much Confidence in my Writing?

I write EVERY day.

This year ALONE, I’ve written more than 260,000 words on different aspects of Legendary Leadership.

That is equivalent to over 3 books at 300 pages each!



Cody Dakota Wooten, C.B.C.

Founder of the Leadership Guide, helping Entrepreneurs, C-Suite Executives and Business Owners unlock their Heroic Potential, and Evolve into Legendary Leaders