Confidence is believing in yourself and what you do. Conceit is an exaggerated confidence that usually comes from an individual believing that they are more important or possess more value than another individual. It’s the thought of “Do you know who I am?”
In leadership this differentiation is important to understand. Leaders must have confidence in themselves and portray that confidence in their actions, but that confidence can not turn to conceit.
A confident leader respects the opinions and ideas of their counterparts; they know who they are and what they believe in, but are adaptable to change if necessary for the betterment of the group. A conceited leader is closed-minded and simply believes that their word and ideas are the only way; they are extremely resistant to change even if it is for the benefit of the group. Confident leaders earn respect through reciprocated respect. A conceited leader believes that they are automatically owed respect because of their status.
Confident leadership is powerful. Conceited leadership is also powerful, but typically in a negative way. Lead with confidence, not conceit!