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Do I Sound Too Arrogant? Your Feedback, Please

October 28, 2010

A few weeks ago I attended a writer’s workshop at Laity Lodge in Texas. The program consisted of a small group of soon-to-be-famous writers and one semi-famous musician, all sitting around a table under the tutelage of an already-famous literary genius.

This was my very first venture into any kind of formal or professional writing development; so needless to say, I was intimidated and nervous. But I am a dedicated person, thus I subjected myself to the impending pain and humiliation for the sake of personal growth.

Our instructor was a brilliant woman whose presence was routinely announced by her impossibly fashionable silver rimmed cat-glasses. She spoke in clipped, abrupt sentences marked by a vaguely familiar highbrow, ivy-leagued accent, which I couldn’t quite place. Was it Blue-Blood Boston? Virginia horse country? Hyannisport, next door to the Kennedy’s? I imagined her descending upon our raggedy little Texas workshop straight from the Sitting Parlor of her family’s summer estate on the bluffs of the Maine coast.

The core of the workshop involved the group critiquing one another’s pieces. The rule was that we were to be honest, yet constructive, and the author was not allowed to speak until after everyone has had their say.  I was second to last, and when the moment finally arrived for my piece to be reviewed, the instructor, no doubt feeling worn by our amateur affiliation, prompted the group to action.

“And now, it’s Bradley. Who will speak first?”

Silence.

Really, it probably lasted only twenty seconds, but it was far too long, like no one had anything good they wanted to share.

Finally, the woman to my right, a Grammy-award winning artist-soon-to-be-memoir-writer, spoke up:

“Well, to be honest,” she said, “I was turned off by your narration in the beginning. You have an arrogant attitude.” She elaborated on this a bit more.

Next, the thirty-something hipster pastor from Oregon with a shaved head and goatee immediately followed up, offering a concurring opinion.

“Yeah,” he said. “You definitely put people off with that tone.” This man did not like my atty-tude. 

I obediently listened in silence, nodding my head, smiling.

A couple other folks eventually chimed in to validate some good parts that they liked, but the overall lesson was clear: Bradley, you come off like an arrogant asshole.

When I was finally allowed to speak, I tried to explain that my intended readership is generally hardened business executives, not Focus-on-the-Family mommies and youth pastors. And the edgy tone is meant to invoke some kind of recognition from my highly competitive, overachieving business colleagues.

Upon hearing this, the hipster-pastor made a gesture simulating a whip being thrashed in my direction. I am still trying to understand what that meant.

“I will take this all into consideration.” I concluded to the group. “I certainly don’t want to be offending people. Thank you for being so honest.”

After the session was over, I met up with my friends Sam Van Eman and Claire Burge sitting on the back deck overlooking the Frio River. They asked me how it went, and I told them about the arrogant comments. Without hesitation, Clair blurted out, “But you ARE arrogant!” She said this in her exotic South African accent with a big smile, which made it sound affirming and attractive. 

“Yeah? And?” I retorted. “It’s just how I write. I call it like I see it. It’s me being honest with how I experience things.”

Claire went on to say how annoyed her mother gets (who apparently is on my email list) when she reads some of my material. “Who does he think he is?” she’ll complain to Claire over the phone, all in a huff.

I suppose I could soften up my tone a bit, maybe becoming more pastorly and stoic:

Hello, friends. Today I’d like to talk about dealing with mean people in the workplace. Say, have you thought of reading the scriptures before work, so that you might arm yourself with patience and prudence? Yes, it says in Psalm 119 that the word of God shall be a light to thine feet and a lamp to thine soul! Instead of getting mad at your co-worker, bring the light with you to work today!

What a load of crap that would be. 

Then Claire said something really great.

“The thing is, Brad, even though you sound arrogant, we keep reading because you always redeem yourself in the end.”

Well, I guess that is true. Because I know better than anyone else how full of crap I really am. And in the end, I am only relying on the grace of God to get me through.  And I don’t for a second think it’s me who’s doing the redeeming.

So, dear readers, there you have it. I want to know the truth. Be honest with me, like the folks in the writer’s workshop. Do I come off as too arrogant? Am I offending and alienating you and making you mad, like Claire’s mother? Should I change my tone to a softer, gentler approach?

This is Bradley J. Moore, and I approve this message.

Photo by Nancy Rosback.

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52 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 7:28 pm

    do I have to go first?

    I do not think you sound arrogant. I think you are refreshingly honest and forthright and current and professional. An opinion always carries it’s frame of reference, it’s personal preference. I like what I read from you, because it sounds like.. well, the you I imagine you to be. There is no disconnect between what you do for a living and what you do for a life. I think that is admirable.

    I still don’t know why you don’t like Kings of Leon, but I’ll get over it.

  2. October 28, 2010 7:28 pm

    I would not judge you to be “arrogant” based upon what I’ve read of your postings or any of the brief interactions we had on that weekend. Then again, I try to be careful in making statements like that. I tend to believe strongly that we see in other people things that exist already in us…so “you spot it, you got it..” and all that.

    That being said, here’s the thing. Beginning “arrogant” (or perhaps I’d say, “direct”) in a blog post actually has no downside as long as you redeem it, as your friend stated. Blog posts are short. They are not a very big time or energy investment. You have TIME to redeem yourself because the overall package is small, you see?

    The difficulty comes when you are writing memoir, in effect you’re building your story. I don’t know the parameters but I imagine that most are thinking a longer form than a blog post. In this, you really need to be able to pull someone in quickly enough that they will stay with you, no matter how arrogant you get throughout the text. We need to be brought in, find ourselves in the text. If we start out finding ourself in the arrogance we’re probably not going to want to know where it’s going
    UNLESS…
    the person reading your book is already your audience.

    Now, this is the rubber meets the road part of my commentary. If you have a following in your blog and this is your intended audience then you have no worries. You continue to be who you are and let the chips fall where they may as it were. These are the people who will say to their friends, “You have to read this guy…he might come off harsh at first but his STORY is amazing!”

    That’s my two and one half cents.

    • October 29, 2010 5:15 am

      You are right — the readers in the group who made those comments were turned off for exactly those reasons – it was more memoir-style, and they just did not get pulled in fast enough. And they were not familiar with me or my writing, so… there ya go.

      You are very wise, indeed, Mrs. Metaphor!

  3. October 28, 2010 7:30 pm

    Oh…and next time throw in with us poets…we’ll treat you nice because we’re really awesome.

  4. Katdish permalink
    October 28, 2010 7:34 pm

    What??? Arrogant asshole? I never get that from your writing style. You are refreshingly honest. What bugs me is when a writer writes around a topic instead of saying what needs to be said. Confindence and arrogance are not the same thing.

  5. October 28, 2010 7:39 pm

    Gee, Brad, which pieces of yours did I miss that have “arrogant” written across the top?

    “Honest but constructive” would not include “You have an arrogant attitude”, which is personalizing and projecting and not focused on the writing itself.

    Btw 1: If you write like that sample italicized paragraph you put up toward the end, I can promise I won’t read you.

    Btw 2: If you want to read a good book on the writing experience, pick up Tom Grimes “Mentor”, which is more than just memoir and more than about the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

    • October 29, 2010 5:16 am

      I am going to order that book right now. Thanks, Mo – your recommendations are the golden standard.

  6. October 28, 2010 7:50 pm

    For my two cents, which probably isn’t really even worth two cents, you’ve got to be who you are. Phony is worse than arrogant in my opinion. Not saying you’re arrogant, just sayin’ I’d rather be a little snobbish, arrogant, aggressive, etc., than fake.

  7. October 28, 2010 7:52 pm

    Honest. Insightful. Experienced. Measured. Intelligent.

    Maybe it’s your intelligence that makes them think you’re putting on airs. That’s happened to me before.

    But really, you’re way too vulnerable and transparent for the arrogant label. Really.

    Keep writing. I adore your writer’s voice.

  8. October 28, 2010 8:03 pm

    I was a latecomer to the rousing conversation that accompanied barbecue and beans, so I’ll chime in now. Brad, you appeal to people who desire more than pat answers filled with rainbows and unicorns.

    Those who know you, know you well. Those who don’t? … there are other blogs for them.

  9. October 28, 2010 8:10 pm

    I commented earlier, but evidently it is floating somewhere in the blogoshpere. But, as the saying goes, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” I would take arrogant any day over phony. Not saying you’re arrogant, just sayin’…

  10. October 28, 2010 8:11 pm

    perhaps I should have refreshed my browser…

  11. October 28, 2010 8:26 pm

    Bradley, I have been avoiding reading this particular article because I have felt that you do come off as arrogant. (And I hope you don’t remove me as a friend for saying that.) And I mean arrogant in a good way! (Who wants a wimp for a writer, anyway.) But I read this and, as always, I come away with a new way of looking at life. At least you’re “keeping ’em honest’ and you say things that take boldness and courage to say!

  12. October 28, 2010 8:52 pm

    Arrogant is not the word i would use.

    • October 29, 2010 5:25 am

      What word would you use?

      • November 1, 2010 1:24 pm

        How about assertive? As a manager I often encourage staff to find that elusive balance – assertive speaks truth (hopefully in love) without oodles of ego. Assertive isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said, but it is aware of, and considerate of, others. Arrogant thinks the world revolves around itself. That does not describe your writing, but assertive works for me and I really appreciate the courage implicit in it,

      • November 2, 2010 9:12 am

        I’ve been thinking about this post for a couple of days now, and I would say you are honest with an edge of earthiness. I like earthy, though. (Many Christians do not.)

        Too many Christians in my opinion want “nice.” We act like “Victory in Jesus” means everyone smiles and loves each other and sings kumbaya.

        But “nice” isn’t a virtue. Excellence is. And love. And truth. And a whole slew of things that are much messier than “nice.”

      • November 2, 2010 11:02 am

        Marcus I love your comment on “nice”. Horrid word and quite the back-handed compliment (aka insult)!

      • November 3, 2010 5:01 pm

        sparkley

      • November 3, 2010 5:20 pm

        sparkly

        spelled right,
        but i think it looks better with an e.

        it sounds better with an e as well.

        you write like like a person with a sparkle in their eyes

  13. October 28, 2010 9:11 pm

    don’t go changin’ to try to please me…

  14. Bob Gorinski permalink
    October 28, 2010 9:38 pm

    Yeah. What Nancy said – not arrogant.

    I would call it…mmm…an edge. Your writing voice has some kind of edge to it. An edge that resonates with me. Seems honest and practical. That’s me, and I don’t imagine that everyone responds to that.

    I mean, your impression of “pastorly and stoic…what a load of crap that would be,” now that’s what I’m talkin ’bout. Awesome.

    Please keep the edge.

  15. October 28, 2010 9:56 pm

    You should have been in my workshop with the poets — we were a lot easier on ourselves and each other.

    I work for a corporation. I have referred your articles to executives in the corporation, and they read them and debated with each other (and me) about them. What they said was, “He talks like us.” I think you hit it dead on with the audience you’re trying to reach.

    And you and I were likely the only “corporate types” at the conference.

    • October 28, 2010 10:50 pm

      Hey.. I was there too! I’ll put my billions against yours :>

    • October 29, 2010 5:29 am

      Yeah, you me and David were the only business/working stiffs in the bunch. What’s interesting is how comfortable I felt being right at home with all those artists for a weekend! And you’re right – I think the artsy folks have a very different frame of reference and appreciation than the stuff I was putting out there. Which is probably my point. I want to keep the focus on the business audience, yet I love the writer/artists community, too.

      Glynn, thanks for sharing those articles with your corporate friends. I think “talking like us” was my original idea for getting this blog started.

  16. Scott permalink
    October 28, 2010 10:09 pm

    Has never struck me as arrogant; and I enjoy reading it, so whatever it is is working for me!

  17. October 28, 2010 10:21 pm

    I am not an executive, little experience in the corporate world but I would say, even before you said it, your style is designed and well suited for the corporate set. As Glynn said, “He talks like us”. That’s who you are…and I like it. I’ve learned a lot from it.

    I do wonder what kinds of responses you would have received had it been a table of CEO’s, CFO’s etc.?

    Keep up the good, honest work!

  18. October 28, 2010 10:34 pm

    I’ve been reading your posts for a long time, Brad. I’ve had 16 bosses and 6 CEOs during my tenure, and I’ve been in the same mid-management position for 20 years. I’m confident that I can spy arrogance a mile away, and yes, even on the internets. You are not arrogant, my friend. You do not flaunt superiority; you speak from hard-earned experience awash in a love for your fellow man. You are direct but don’t disregard opinions and feelings for others. You are humble and vincible. You have every reason to be arrogant, but have too much respect for others to go there.

    I think I’ve told you before you must be the best boss ever. Why? Because you take the time to write and your readers know you listen and learn and love. And you don’t leave Jesus in the corporate parking lot; He shares your big leather chair.

  19. October 28, 2010 10:47 pm

    Brad … Sorry to be honest here, but it’s nothing we haven’t spoken about . When you first started blogging, you were a little too brash and some of us nudged you back, as we are called to do. Now it seems as if others may be doing the same.

    Your personality does come out in your writing, and that’s good — except when it’s bad. We all suffer from this when we post honestly — our warts coming out. Just by asking this very question is heartening to me and I wish more would follow your lead.

    I have to say your “Nosebleed alert” post would fall in this category and I have secretly hoped you would remove it.

    And for all us to ask the same question is good. I challenge all writers and bloggers. “Count the I’s and Me’s in text” and make sure they are balanced. This is an arrogant age and it’s tough not to get sucked into self absorption.

    By asking this question in an open forum tells me that God put it in your mind. Now, you need to do what’s right — and not what we say.

    • October 28, 2010 11:31 pm

      It is a good question to ask.

      My favorite Ben Franklin quote: “In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had compleatly overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”

      (Though I personally think the Nosebleed alert was written from a place of immense respect for Ms. Kanter, not pride or arrogance.)

      I like what Cassandra said.

    • October 29, 2010 5:35 am

      “It’s good, except when it’s bad…” David, that’s saying it like it is!

      I thought my “Nosebleed Alert” post was awesome. Yes, Anna, I made a big stink about it because Ms. Kanter’s nod was like, the ultimate compliment in the business universe. And the irony is that it was just a little poke. She hardly acknowledged me personally, other than a link, which was more like an acknowledgement of herself! And it’s not like I actually got published in Harvard Business Review! I’m not that smart….

      I had a feeling a few would get that, but not everyone.

  20. October 28, 2010 11:45 pm

    BJM,

    Stop beating yourself up – they’re jealous – plain and simple. Were any of these yahoos sipping tea from a thimble as they butchered your beautiful work?

    If you get a chance, please check out my latest literary obscurity.

    Matthew

    • October 29, 2010 9:06 am

      Hilarious, Matthew.

      Brad, as we tried to tell you, any “arrogance” that comes across is just part of your shtick. It’s your personality as a writer. But like others have noted – namely Claire and her mom – you redeem yourself, proving to be one of us.

      The memoir comment above is an interesting one, though an editor of some future book of yours will help you there. And Future Agent will have picked you up because of your personality.

      As they say in the year books, “Don’t ever change!!!! Always stay the same!!!” (Well, you know, a little change is good, but you get the point.)

  21. Gordon Atkinson permalink
    October 29, 2010 9:29 am

    Brad,

    I hope you’ll take the time to read my comment. Because I’ve thought a lot about it. I was in that group. And I remember those comments. And I remember thinking that they didn’t know you and didn’t know your writing. I should have leapt to your defense but it was the first offering and we were all a little intimidated perhaps.

    We’ve beaten the poor word arrogant all to pieces in this. Without even defining it, it has become a word that you either are or are not. As if we’d all sit on the edge of our seats, waiting to find the answer. “It’s all or nothing. Either Bradley is or isn’t.”

    I’ve read a lot of your work. And that word has never once come to my mind.

    Your writing voice is complicated. A reader needs to get to know you over time. But that’s very much like your personality, isn’t it? I find your writing voice to be very kind. When I first read you and before I met you, I thought of you as a rather high powered executive. And you were the kindest executive I ever knew. My wife was in the corporate world and got all beaten up. I used to wish that she could have worked for you.

    After meeting you I was delighted that I felt the same way.

    That particular piece – the one you wrote for the workshop – was a particular style. Not one that you came up with. Others have done it. It’s a common trick. The writer HUMBLY CONFESSES HIS OWN ARROGANCE by letting us walk with him in his overconfidence, only to show us the inevitable fall. I do the same thing in writing sometimes. We jokingly point out times when we were overconfident, only to show the fall that comes as a result.

    It’s a lived out parable style, Aesop in modern language. Pride goeth before a fall in a humorous narrative.

    It’s a very endearing style because it lets us safely and vicariously experience the moral journey with the writer. And the assumption is generally made by the reader that the writer has moved emotionally beyond his overconfidence and the story is one of the lessons that helped get him where he is today. Why, I wonder, did those in the workshop not grant you that customary allowance? I did.

    I don’t think you are arrogant. That word would never occur to me. I think you are confident. And I think you work in a world where you are expected to lead with that. And I think you balance that with Christian humility well.

    I am grieved to think that a couple of comments from strangers might someone be a burden to you. I liked your writing before I knew you. I came to – yes – love and cherish you on that retreat.

    gordon

    • October 29, 2010 9:44 am

      Gordon,

      I took the time to read your comment. I was touched.

      What a gift you have for encouragement. It runs deep. God has entrusted you with much. This is a wonderful example of spiritual leadership, displayed in the humble format of blogging.

      Brad is rich in your friendship.

    • October 29, 2010 2:36 pm

      Well, Gordon, I am seriously all choked up by your comment.

      No, I wasn’t exactly “burdened” by those comments in a I-stayed-up-all-night-ruminating about it way, but I did want to take it seriously enough to ask the question. Maybe I need to change my approach? Why should I be stubborn? Why not listen to advice that will be helpful in my growth as a writer? That’s the reason I am asking for opinions. I don’t want to exist in my own bubble, which I am prone to do (since I really enjoy my own writing, which probably sounds odd).

      This feedback is enlightening, and gives me a broader perspective than just those few voices in the writer’s workshop. I’m glad I asked.

      I really appreciate you, bro. And you gave me all your delicious feedback BEFORE the workshop, remember? You took me aside to specifically tell me what you thought about my piece in a more personal way. I really liked that.

  22. October 29, 2010 9:32 am

    Nope!!

    That’s allllllll I’m gonna say 🙂

  23. David Mendoza permalink
    October 29, 2010 10:08 am

    Hi Brad. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Perhaps people are mistaking your particular sense of humor for arrogance. A dry wit is not equivalent to pride, but I suppose someone could mistake one for the other. The Nosebleed article is a good example: I thought it was funny — especially since I am familiar with HBS. I have a feeling that if I listed some of the other articles that were humorous, in the context of this discussion they would be branded as arrogant and prideful and in need of correction.

    I would like to say one last thing. I am neither a writer nor a pastor, and I do not aspire to be one. I work in a glass building, under immense pressure, with hyper-aggressive “team members” that keep constant vigil for the slightest sign of weakness. I come to this webpage looking for the Christian message presented in a way that I can relate to. A softer, gentler greeting card version of the Word just doesn’t resonate when you are in the trenches.

    • October 29, 2010 10:46 am

      See, Brad? Now stop it.

    • October 29, 2010 2:41 pm

      Yes, you got it – it’s the humor that sounds arrogant. I am intentionally tongue-in-cheek when I write, for the most part, but then again, not everyone gets it. Even in this piece here, I throw some things, like “the instructor, being worn down by our amateur affiliation…” I think that’s funny, imagining that this famous literary figure is just so sick and tired of hearing our pathetic little writing assignments. Like she just wants to go hobnob with the more famous intelligencia and she’s stuck here with our group. That’s probably far from true, but it stems from an insecurity I have that I am much inferior to her, and to the others in the group, so it comes out in that line. Maybe there’s only a few people that read through to that level?

      Anyways, thanks for the comment, David. I really appreciate hearing from a reader who usually does not comment.

  24. October 29, 2010 10:08 am

    Bradley, Arrogance, to me, is when one thinks, feels, dresses, eats, sneezes ABOVE OTHERS – NOT to be heard, but to make themselves think, feel, dress, eat and sneeze SO THEY CAN HEAR THEMSELVES sound so, arguably, Superior!
    So, Bradley, you are not arrogant, you are human and yes, you speak your mind… as we all should and do — and that is why we come back, because you make points that we either agree with or not… and WE ARE FREE on your page, TO DO SO!
    (How’d I do, says this New England born Yank?)
    Peace, Denise

  25. October 29, 2010 10:15 am

    Our conversation was brief. Had it been longer, I would have expanded by saying this: you remove the stiffness out of “corporate” with your honesty. Perhaps if you knew more of my own business background, you would understand that I understand corporate language and undertones and attitudes.

    I move in the corporate world everyday of my life. I eat breathe and sleep business and then when I come home, I take photos and write to process what I experience at work. I move in an online, tech space of high potential start ups, comprising of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. I am both art and business. I am currently putting together business plans to seek venture capital investment. I know what it means to be “arrogant” to prove ones worth. It is not an arrogance that damages others in the process. It is an arrogance that stands firm and true. There is a difference.

    The business side of Claire recognises the edge you have in order to survive. The art side of Claire recognises the redemption you bring to a very ruthless environment.

    As for my mother… she has lived the corporate life for 35+ years. This is why she is on your email list. She works in aerospace engineering. It is a male dominated, hard edged world of brilliance. Her world comprises engineers who build bombs and missiles and aircraft. She tests and assembles their creations. She understands and recognises arrogance in redeeming forms.

    I feel as if I have said too much and too little all at once.

    Can we maybe continue the conversation?

    • October 29, 2010 2:44 pm

      Yes, yes, let’s continue the convo.

      I love love love your idea of arrogance and redemption. It’s all wrapped up in grace. And I am thankful for yours.

      Say hi to your mom. (And next time I’ll ask first. 🙂

  26. October 29, 2010 12:45 pm

    Hi, Bradley – thanks for being so self-disclosing (which does not usually happen with truly arrogant people).

    Arrogance is in the eye of the beholder.

    Your abrupt and direct style may be experienced as refreshingly candid or obnoxiously self-important, or in any number of other ways, dependent not on your tone, but on my interpretation of what and how you communicate. Thus it is with all communication.

    In other words, reading you before my morning cup of coffee will yield a different perspective than reading you after at least one cup of that steaming miracle liquid.

    If people have read you enough to be able to label you, then they are reading you . . . more than once . . . which is a good thing.

    Actually, based on your description, I think that little “Will be” writer’s group sounds rather obnoxious:).

    John

  27. October 29, 2010 12:57 pm

    Bradley,

    may I add….

    you are a leader and also someone who leaves room for grace,
    which is why I felt comfortable jumping in first and offering my words in something I know little about.
    well , I do read , and I like to “write”

    and I am married to an executive and his ego is not false pride but courage and integrity and hours of unseen preparation to bring the best of what he can offer to the table.

    I didn’t comment on your post re the Chilean miners.. but there are few people I can think of I’d want as the leader in such a scenario and you would certainly come to mind. So if you write what you know, with your voice, I’d buy it.

  28. October 29, 2010 2:04 pm

    Can arrogance and sarcasm be confused? I personally enjoy sarcasm, and think you have to read everything with a grain of salt. Some of the best readings, or of people that have strong opinions, sarcastic tones, and consise thoughts. They always make me think, even if I dont agree.

    This world is filled with timid people too afraid to have strong opinions, and it will be the end of us all. Having a strong opinion, or believing strongly in something, ultimately offends others who dont have the same thoughts. But isnt that part of life? Learning from one another. Being arrogant enough to say what we really think, without sugar-coating it, but humble enough to admit wrongs?

    All that to say, as a rather strong, and probably “arrogant” person myself, I rather enjoy your blogs, and have not taken personal offense. Please continue to be your “arrogant” self 🙂

  29. October 29, 2010 8:20 pm

    Blecch!–no saccharine for me! Keep tellin’ it like it is.

  30. October 31, 2010 6:10 pm

    Well, I just found your blog. I can say this post did not come off as arrogant. I also remember from my writing classes that you must consider your audience. If your chosen audience is a group that must see you as an authority on a particular subject, you might not need to change a thing.

  31. Phil permalink
    November 1, 2010 4:20 pm

    Arrogant? Never crossed my mind. I liked you the first time I met you, and figured that certain something you ooze was a strange mix of confidence, wit, sarcasm, and spirituality. For what it’s worth, I know both the writer and the person, and they are one and the same.

  32. November 4, 2010 11:52 pm

    Bradley,
    I hate to present a contrarian point of view but I’m hoping that it’s realistic. We, the commenters, are your readers. Therefore, we’re attracted to your writing style and your message. It’s an intelligent, thinking man’s Christianity and it causes the rest of us to think. Of course we don’t think you sound arrogant. We’re your “market segment”.

    But if you really want the answer to the broad question and what a broader segment thinks, then you need to ask a group like those at your retreat. You and your message won’t appeal universally. That’s unfortunate but realistic. And to some, you will sound arrogant.

  33. November 6, 2010 3:59 pm

    Okay, so it’s been a week of comments and figure it’s about time I wrap it up. For now.

    Thanks, everyone for your truly thoughtful response. I was serious about this, and I see that you were too. So here’s my take-away: you think the tone is not arrogant, per se, but more of a smart, edgy, confidence that is fitting with a smart, edgy business-minded audience. Right? I think Tammy is right, that not everyone will appreciate it. But I am not going for a dumbed-down mainstream, universal appeal. That would suck (“The Shack,” anyone?).

    And really, some of the zingers I throw in there are really just tongue-in-cheek. Sounds like most of you get it. I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing, so don’t expect the tone to be changing much.

    Again, thanks to everyone for taking the time to respond here.

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