Self-importance is behind most of the stupid things leaders do.
Self-importance keeps leaders ignorant and isolated.
Self-importance blinds you to your weaknesses and distorts your view of strength in others. Even insecurity is a symptom of self-importance.
Self-importance is the biggest danger in leadership.
- Live with a sense of under-appreciation. Others don’t fully appreciate the splendor of self-important leaders.
- Love to be noticed and need acknowledgement.
- Expect agreement. Self-important leaders feel offended when challenged. Self-important leaders always have THE answer.
- Idolize the trappings of power. Corner offices, executive limousines, and being rushed to the head of the line seduces leaders to look down on the little people.
- Support weak team members who aren’t a threat, but compete with competent colleagues. How do you feel when colleagues receive praise but you don’t?
- Work to advance themselves even if it disadvantages the team.
- Bristle at being under authority. Qualified boards are enemies to self-important leaders.
7 suggestions to solve self-importance:
#1. Be important enough to make others important.
In order to make a difference in the world, you must believe you have something to offer. But remember, you have two or three remarkable qualities. Everything else you have is average or below.
#2. Let others win. Better yet, help them win.
#3. Stop comparing yourself with others.
Everyone loses the game of WHO HAS THE MOST TOYS.
#4. Show up to serve.
#5. Admire everyone on the team.
Reflect on people’s strengths more frequently than you ruminate on their weaknesses. Invite everyone in for a THIS IS WHAT I ADMIRE ABOUT YOU conversation. Don’t add a few weaknesses at the end.
#6. Realize leaders are nothing without the people they serve.
#7. Acknowledge the temptation of self-importance.
What symptoms of self-importance do you see in leaders?
How might leaders overcome self-importance?
(Please feel free to challenge the premise of this post and suggest your own “biggest danger.”)