You Can’t Inspire Those You Look Down On

Feeling superior comes in many forms. All of them are justifications for looking down on others.

You can’t inspire those you look down on. Manipulate yes. Inspire no.

12 comparisons that lead to looking down on others:

  1. I’m more dedicated.
  2. I have more experience.
  3. I work harder.
  4. I’m more reliable.
  5. I have more responsibilities.
  6. I solve more problems than I cause.
  7. I give more help than I receive.
  8. I have more education.
  9. I’m more successful.
  10. I make more money.
  11. I have more friends.
  12. I have more talent.


You ARE more talented than others. You SOLVE more problems. You have MORE answers. Wow! You practically walk on water. (Sarcasm intended.)

Feeling superior requires making comparisons.

We can always find someone who is LESS than we are to prop up self-importance.

 A husband who neglects his wife is a hero compared to a drunken wife beater.

Team leaders who work longer hours can look down on those who go home on time.

I’m a better driver than my 6-year old granddaughter. But I’ve still wrecked most of the vehicles I’ve owned.

4 Suggestions:

A life of constant growth and learning reflects humility.

  1. What new behaviors are you trying this week? If the answer is none, do you think you’ve arrived? Maybe you’re doing everything right?
  2. How are you stretching yourself? It’s fun to stretch others. What about stretching yourself?
  3. When was the last time someone else was right?
  4. When was the last time you said, “I was wrong.”?

Feeling superior is permission to stand aloof. 

3 Tips:

  1. Compare yourself with your potential, not someone else’s performance.
  2. Use your ‘greatness’ to make others great.
  3. Show up to serve, not be served.

Attitudes and behaviors that create distance lower your ability to lead.

How might leaders practice humility on a daily basis?