NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I will spare J.C. Penney (JCP) CEO Ron Johnson the embarrassment of linking to video of the presentation he gave investors earlier this year. But, trust me, I offer a completely accurate account.Shortly after leaving Apple ( AAPL), of all places, Johnson illustrated the difference between confidence and cocky arrogance. It didn't take long for him to show us stubborn delusion. In retrospect, new Yahoo! ( YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer's casual disclosure that she was with child has got nothing on the junk Johnson talked early in his tenure at JCP. And, despite the clear fact that he has already failed, Johnson clings to hopes of an improbable turnaround. Somewhat surprisingly, the elder Johnson could learn a thing or two from fellow first-time CEO Mayer. She smoothly entered the fray at Yahoo!, making tweaks and boosting morale as she surveys the landscape. There's no bombast. No smoke and mirrors. No pomp and circumstance. No outrageous predictions. Just a veteran-like calm, cool and calculated approach as she prepares to make history.
Johnson then made the bold claim that his past successes will fuel an Apple-like metamorphosis at J.C. Penney. In fact, if I read his words, facial expressions and body language correctly, he made eventual triumph at JCP sound like a foregone conclusion. It's not just a possibility; it's destiny. After all, look at what he did at Target and Apple.