Growing up in Manchester in the 90's meant that Manchester United was at the very heart of the city. The one player whose character and presence really stood out was Eric Cantona. Cantona became famous for not only his finesse on the football pitch and his sometimes controversial behaviour, but for making it known to everyone that he was certainly the best player on the pitch. Whilst in his personal life he was reported to be a gentle and quiet individual, when it came to his football career he really made himself known. Some have characterised this behaviour as “performance arrogance.”
The Oxford Dictionary defines arrogance as “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.”
It’s important to clarify that there are two types of arrogance. The one that we see most often is social arrogance. Social arrogance is the display of hubristic pride which is synonymous with egotism and undesirable traits such as being dis-agreeable, belligerence or gloating for lack of self-esteem. This type of behaviour should be avoided.
The second type of arrogance, which is what I’m hoping to explore with you, is performance arrogance. Performance arrogance is an expression of authentic pride which arises when we feel good about ourselves, confident, productive and should yield desirable personality traits.
So, for Cantona to do his job well, he had to believe in himself and demonstrate to others that he was the best man on the field. This can also be applied to the restaurant sector.
In the highly innovative and developing restaurant market, new concepts are continuously being explored, developed and created. It is the entrepreneurs and characters behind these businesses that are trail blazing their ideas, with a healthy dose of performance arrogance and believing that they have a great concept.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that these entrepreneurs and personalities are egomaniacs, it just means that to do what they need to do, they must harbour the self-belief that they are the best in their field…and this isn’t something to be ashamed of.
Whatever you believe that you can do, you can do.
Both in our business and personal lives, we have to first believe in ourselves before we can believe in others, and have the confidence to demonstrate this on a daily basis. Therefore, my advice to all existing and new operators is to believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to embrace a bit of performance arrogance, as long as we all remember that at home we are nothing but humble individuals to our families and loved ones.
David Abramson, CEO