Ego and confidence are not the same. The fruit of both is bold expression of vision; a tangible passion, hence either being mistaken for the other. Being bold is a must for every heretic leader. Confidence is necessary for building significant support for your cause. It is easy for heretics to be considered arrogant because of challenging the status quo. Anyone challenging the norm is, at first, treated with suspicion and cynicism. If you are going to be successful in leading change, you must make peace with this fact.
For you, heretic, it is important to make sure that your ego does not get in the way and become a stumbling block. Be confident not arrogant. A healthy ego is necessary. However, a misdirected ego will easily jeopardize your cause. Crossing the line between confidence and being egocentric happens when you are more concerned about your reputation as an achiever and not the reform you want to bring about.
Arrogance comes to the fore when your focus shifts from the cause to people.
Heretics are inherently visionary. Hence the vision for greater is a very personal and intimate thing. This is why it will sometimes it will hurt when the naysayers assault your vision, methods or cause. Your ego can overtake you and blind you when you take an attack on your ideas personally. For heretics to survive the scourge of attacks they must not take anything personally. Consider any attack on the change you are bringing as an attack on your idea and not yourself. Some may attack you directly. When that happens direct the attacks to the idea and vision and not your person. After all, they would not raise their voice if you had not brought your ideas to the fore.
Arrogant rants will shift people’s focus from your cause to personalities
The display of ego is normally an invite for onslaughts against you. Confidence may have a similar effect on people… When this happens, express confidence in your vision and the ability of your team to make it happen. Including those that already back you affirms them and shows the critics you are not an egocentric maniac. Obsessing over protecting your ego will take the focus of what you trying to achieve. Heretics keep the cause at the heart of what their do. They value the cause more than their ego. They act in confidence for the sake of the cause and shun arrogance.
Remember, your cause is more important than your ego; put it first. Be bold. Be /ˈherətik/.