If there is one temptation nearly all of us struggle with from time to time, it is pride. Pride is one of the greatest afflictions of leaders. It is seductive, making us think more highly of ourselves than we should. Yet, shouldn’t we be proud of our accomplishments? As the old saying goes, if you don’t promote yourself, no one else will!
What are signs you might be struggling with pride? Here are a few:
- Looking down on others instead of looking up
- Mistreating people
- Being overly critical or believing that no one can do the job as good as you
- Thinking our compensation is never enough or that we deserve the pay, perks, and privileges we receive
- Judging others by their material possessions
Pride, like nearly all other leadership traits, requires a careful balancing act. Pride is harmful when:
- We convince ourselves that we’ve “earned” a position that allows us to elevate ourselves above others
- We refuse to admit our mistakes or humble ourselves to apologize
- We start to think too much of ourselves and not enough of others
- We believe we no longer need others’ input or feedback
- We think our success is because of “me” and not those around us
- We take credit for the wins but blame others for the losses
The two most used words for a person with pride are “I” and “me.” When our pride is all about us, we need to do some careful self-examining.
But is there a time when pride can be a good thing?
Pride is a great leadership attribute when the pride we possess is for the people we lead. Pride is an advantage when we celebrate our team wins and reinforce their accomplishments. We can also have pride for our teammates and their strengths to instill confidence in them. And there is never anything wrong with being proud of our favorite sports team (hook ‘em!). But seriously, there is a big difference in being prideful and being proud of and for others.
If you struggle with feelings of self-pride, stop looking at yourself and start looking at your teammates. Stop worrying so much about your own success, and start focusing on helping others be successful. How can you use the talents and accomplishments you’re most proud of to grow and instill confidence in your team?