Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm Just Saying ... The Self-Proclaimed Genius Among Us

Where is the fine line between arrogance and confidence? I've pondered that question quite a bit lately. Well, I found it really interesting when I was talking to this guy we'll call "Bob" (I always use the fake name Bob for men I encounter that I find obnoxious for whatever reason). Well, Bob told me he was the "genius" behind this famous Fortune 500 company. Genius? Really? Genius is a pretty strong word. The company in question was a pretty big company too. And I would imagine the company founder might take offense at the notion that Bob, who is pretty unknown, was calling himself the genius to its success. As I stood wondering how in the world Bob got so confident that he turned over a leaf toward perhaps arrogant and a tad full of himself, it hit me that confidence and arrogance are really a fine line. Or maybe it's modesty. The flip side of conundrum is to be self-deprecating to the point of the ridiculous too. Nothing is more of a turnoff than when you give someone a compliment and they quickly put themselves down. I've always fallen on the side of a simple thank you and move on. No, need to discuss the rationale behind the nice comment. Nor is there a need to put yourself down either. But back to Bob ... maybe it's a pure lack of modesty when someone goes beyond the pale of any humility at all to call themselves the genius behind something. Famous actor Tom Hanks has always been reported as a super nice, modest guy. Maybe there should be the Tom Hanks' standard to measure confidence to arrogance or super-hubris. Would Tom Hanks, even though it might be true, ever say in an interview he is the genius behind Playtone? I've never once heard Mr. Hanks in an interview say anything of the sort. Is he excited, enthusiastic about his projects, yes, absolutely. So next time, you dub yourself the genius, master, uber-brain or just brilliant something behind something, maybe think twice. Because the moment "Bob" uttered the words "genius" in my presence, my first thought was, "Good God, who wants to do business with Mr. Genius?" Ack! Can you imagine ... nope! And no thank you! I'm just saying.

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