Avoiding the Putrid Beast Destroying Leaders

Pride is good. For example, “Have some pride” and “Take pride in your work.”

Arrogant pride, however, represents the dark, blinding, deceptive underbelly of leadership. Arrogant pride drives leaders to gather in protective huddles of pseudo-invincibility where stepping on others is smugly applauded and lifting others is foolish weakness.

Filthy dark festering pride drives outrageous salaries, underhanded dealings, and deceptive accounting practices. What about employee handbooks and HR guidelines intentionally vague or confusing so they can be used to accomplish any leader’s personal agenda?

The danger of healthy pride is its putrid ravenous brother lives one step across the border. His name is arrogance.

10 symptoms the ravenous beast has you:

  1. Flattery – Hateful manipulative speech that creates vulnerability to deceptive self-serving influence.
  2. Stubborn unwillingness to reconsider. After all, you might look weak!
  3. Insults, put downs and slanderous speech.
  4. Sacrificing relationships for power, position, and prestige.
  5. Refusing to explore options and opinions while scorning those who disagree.
  6. Lying.
  7. Argumentativeness.
  8. Name dropping.
  9. Feelings of untouchable invincibility rooted in power, authority, and possessions.
  10. Rejecting correction.

Bonus: Pretending to be something you aren’t.

The deepest danger:

When the beast has us, it blinds us. His strangling grip and destructive teeth gnawing on our soul feels delightfully right.

5 suggestions:

  1. Service. You serve everyone from the temporary receptionist to the CEO, everyone. Leadership is service.
  2. Accountability. Find one person who tells you the truth, regardless.
  3. Love. Always seek the highest good of others.
  4. Priority. Help others win first. Find your win second.
  5. Gratitude. Thankfulness lifts others by acknowledging their contributions.

Double danger:

You can be proud of being humble. Anyone have a suggestion for that one?


What symptoms of arrogance lurk in your environment?

How can leaders deal with the ravenous beast?


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