And he rightfully should – after all, Kevin Bacon has credits in nearly 90 films and has a popular game “6 degrees of separation” credited to him. The dude has been there, done that, and has somehow maintained a solid reputation throughout. He deserves to have a little swagger.
So what constitutes the right to have swagger? Is it attitude – or historical evidence of success – or both?
And what exactly is swagger? Is it confidence? Ego? Assertiveness? Arrogance? Is it a positive or a negative term?
And last question – what does swagger have to do with leadership?
In the opinion of this writer, swagger has everything to do with great leadership. Swagger is an attitude that comes from confidence. And not just confidence but this inert belief that you are doing the right thing/best thing/ideal thing for your team, your company and yourself. It’s a foundational understanding – ie at the core of who you are – that you’re bringing your best, doing your best and are your very best self.
And that kind of belief and attitude is contagious. It’s infectious. It’s enviable and emulatable (yes, I did just make up that word). It’s a beautiful thing to have and to strive for.
But be careful with swagger. When not managed properly, it can be misinterpreted for cockiness, egocentricity, and an inflated self-perception.
So check yourself – is it coming from a genuine “best” place or from a “better than” place. And as long as you’re always focused on the “best” – swagger away.
Inspired in part by Emmy Beeson.