I get a email newsletter from John Maxwell & it always has a few great bites for leaders to apply. This one was a real winner so i wanted to share bits of it with you....
Pride - A Leader's Greatest Problem
By Dr. John C. Maxwell Printer-friendly version
Pull a 10-dollar bill from your pocket, and you will see the face of Alexander Hamilton on the front. By merit of his accomplishments, Hamilton should be one of our greatest national heroes. Consider his contributions to America:
• Revolutionary War hero
• George Washington’s chief of staff by age 22
• America’s first Secretary of the Treasury
• Co-author of The Federalist Papers
• Creator of the Coast Guard
• Designer of the nation’s banking and finance system
• Architect of a system of tax collection to bring revenue to the U.S. Government
• Builder of the infrastructure for an industrial economy
Yet, despite displaying the greatest blend of legal, political, and financial knowledge of the founding fathers, Hamilton does not rank among the foremost heroes of our country’s history. Why? Pride. Hamilton’s self-importance and inability to take an insult alienated those around him and sabotaged his career. His ego literally killed him. Far too vain to patch up differences with fellow politician, Aaron Burr, Hamilton was shot and killed by Burr in a duel at the age of 49.
Pride—A Leader’s Greatest Problem
There are two kinds of pride, both good and bad. “Good pride” represents our dignity and self-respect. “Bad pride” is the deadly sin of superiority that reeks of conceit and arrogance. When you look at the word pride, notice the middle letter is “I”. When you are full of pride on the inside, it makes you stiff, stubborn, and creates strife with others.
The Problems of Pride
1. Pride Stops Us from Building a Team.
Prideful leaders readily contract “Superman Syndrome” and devalue the benefits of teamwork. They rely on their own prowess to solve problems and advance the organization. Blinded by their self-centeredness, arrogant leaders are unable to appreciate the strengths in others.
2. Pride Renders Us Unteachable.
Leaders who are assured they know everything don’t bother about personal growth. Their ego convinces them that they have arrived, and they quit searching for life’s lessons in the people and circumstances around them.
3. Pride Closes Our Mind to Feedback.
Pride deafens us to the advice or warnings of those around us. As Stephen Covey has said, “It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it.” Without humility, we care about only one opinion—our own.
4. Pride Prevents Us from Admitting Mistakes.
5. Pride Keeps Us from Making Changes.
6. Pride Encourages Poor Character Choices
7. Pride Hinders Us from Reaching Our Potential.
8. Pride Destroys Relationships.
9. Pride Distorts Your Perspective on Reality
How to Correct the Pride Problem
1. Recognize Your Pride
“If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, you are very conceited indeed.”
~ C. S. Lewis
2. Admit Your Pride
“There is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
~ Benjamin Franklin
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