Breaking the Wall that Arrogance Built
Working on others is a joy. After all, they need so much help.
The need to fix others blinds you to yourself.
Influence requires connection, but there’s a wall between you and the people on your team that’s built by arrogance.
The toughest thing:
The toughest thing about connecting with others is the demand it makes on you.
Disconnected leaders focus on changing others. The more important question is how do you need to change.
Real relationships are fulfilling but messy and dangerous. Isolation, in the short-term, is easier than connection.
Think more about changing yourself and less about changing others.
You need to change when:
- You repeatedly complain about others.
- No one is good enough, except you.
- Your first thought is how do they need to change.
The gift of connection is it changes you, not that you change others. Frankly, it’s easier to work on others than yourself.
Blindness of disconnection:
- You think you have the best ideas on the team because you don’t share information, create context, leverage strengths, or communicate vision.
- You think you’re the hardest working person on the team because you don’t know what others are doing.
- You think you’re the smartest person on the team because you don’t know what others are thinking.
3 questions to connect with others:
- What are you hoping to achieve?
- What makes you proud?
- Where are you getting the best results?
3 questions for reflection:
- What have you recently learned? How is it changing the way you interact with others?
- How are the tensions you feel with others mostly about you?
- How might you share your frailties in ways that strengthen connection?
Connections enhance influence and elevate the meaning of work.
How might leaders strengthen connection?
How are you changing?
It is far easier to change our own behaviors than to change other people’s behaviors and changing our own behaviors is nearly impossible for most of us without wanting to change and without help. Telling and insisting that others change is a fools errand and is a cause of employee turnover.
Change efforts fail if executives/managers think behavioral changes are needed for everyone but themselves. It is easier to insist that others change their behaviors than it is to change our own behaviors. Change efforts are necessary when those in charge don’t change their own behaviors.
Thanks Bob. Brilliant opening line. You sucked me in and then drove the lesson home. I admire a well turned phrase.
You added the idea that we need others in our lives to be part of the change. Thanks for your insights.
Great questions to set the right focus for 1 to 1s, thanks.
Thanks Brad. I’m glad you stopped in.
Thanks for a big ol’ slap upside the head this morning. You hit an area in which I struggle, especially in the field I’m in.
Thanks Jody. Great hearing from you. Love your transparency. I think we have hope when we can see both our bright and dark sides. Best for the journey.
Ouch – this one hit close to home. Good advice for the workplace, but I plan to carry this over to my social relationships as well. I fall into this trap regularly – thanks for the wake-up call!
Thanks Pixel. Yes, it’s hard to imagine how this post doesn’t kick most of us in the pants. I’m often told that these posts make people feel like I’m reading their mail. The truth is, I’m reading my own mail. Steady on… 🙂
Dan the key to breaking down the arrogance wall for me was recognizing and accepting my own first major failure. For me it was a very personal one; for others it can be a business one. I know some people in their 50’s who have still not acknowledged any failure in their life. It is almost impossible to lead without that happening. Great subject.
Brad James, The Business Zoo
Thanks Brad. You really nailed an important idea. It’s a heck of a lot easier to see someone else’s failures than to see our own. As a matter of fact, we probably do the same things that irritate us about others. 🙂
I’m thankful for you and your insights.
So true !
Changing myself means changing my behavior and thus my relation with others. Indirectly changing myself make me and others change. Everybody win…
Very well put. To answe them, you need to sit quietly with yourself
Simple thing is stay well rooted and humble as you go up the ladder. Show empathy to others. Become a good listener and show that you care. Everything falls in place. Arrogance and complacency has no place in a Leaders dictionary. Arrogant leaders are bound to fail.