The Difference Between Proud and Pride

When it comes to influencing others, I place a great deal of emphasis on the difference between being prideful and being proud. Here’s how I distinguish between the two.

Prideful leaders…

  • Focus on image
  • Seek the spotlight
  • Avoid admitting weaknesses or mistakes
  • Are too focused on self
  • Let stubbornness prevent growth

Proud leaders…

  • Focus on actions and results
  • Shine the spotlight
  • Learn from their mistakes
  • Express their excitement for others’ accomplishments
  • Gain fulfillment from growth

Pride is a natural impulse nearly all of us battle against; it’s only human to want to look good! The problem with pride is that it’s egocentric.

A prideful leader makes decisions based on what will make him look better. We manipulate facts to create a more positive outlook and make ourselves appear successful. Prideful leaders’ aversion to appearing weak prevents them from asking for help from their own leaders. They are motivated to hide their mistakes, and shift the blame when mistakes are discovered.

Prideful leaders lack self accountability because they aren’t self-aware.

On the other hand, when we turn our self pride into being proud of others, we quit focusing on ourselves. “Proud” and “people” go together! Find fulfillment in being proud of those you lead – your kids, your team, your colleagues, and their actions and decisions that make a positive impact on others.

In what areas of your leadership or life do you struggle with pride?


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