The Seductions of Arrogance Compound the Elusiveness of Humility
I write so frequently about humility because it eludes me.
“In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride.” Benjamin Franklin
If you don’t grapple with arrogance, you’re pinned and don’t know it.
4 seductions of arrogance:
The seductions of arrogance compound the elusiveness of humility.
- Arrogance blinds you to personal weakness.
- Arrogance distorts your appreciation of strength in others.
- Arrogance prolongs ignorance under the guise of knowledge. The arrogant know. The humble learn.
- Arrogance tries to matter more through selective comparison. Someone’s always worse than you.
Arrogance, like salt, disappears when it’s active in your life.
Practice vs. character:
Character is developed through repeated behaviors.
Humility is first a practice. It becomes character quietly. You can’t prevent feelings of arrogance, but you can practice humble behaviors.
Practice is done in the sunshine. Character is revealed in the storm. You never really know who you are until waves build and the ship starts taking on water.
5 practices of humble leadership:
#1. Raising your hand when it’s time to take responsibility.
- You are responsible when your team struggles and fails.
- A lousy boss is a poor excuse for half-hearted service.
You’re arrogant when the weaknesses and failures of others consume your thinking.
#2. Clapping for the team when you work harder than others.
- Brag about others, especially when you feel like tooting your own horn.
- Say, “We,” most of the time.
#3. Combining passionate drive with humility.
The greatest rigor of humble leadership may be combining passionate drive with gentleness, kindness, and compassion.
You’re a doormat if you have humility but no drive.
#4. Courageously learning when you’re the smartest person in the room.
#5. Turning conversations toward others and away from yourself.
Feelings of superiority are the sweet elixir of arrogance.
What are some seductions of arrogance?
What are you going to do about arrogance in your life?
WOW! So many nuggets in this one. If it was gold I could retire. Not sure what statement is the biggest one to hang on to. I think humility is a practice till it becomes character is my favorite and will be writing that one down. Thank you.
Thanks Walt. The idea that humility is a practice is the only way I can approach the subject with any measure of confidence that it can be developed.
There are so many times I don’t feel humble. I can’t control that. But I can control small behaviors.
Arrogant? Me? But, but, but…time for me to get my “arrogant but(t)” out of my own way and out of my thinking. Thanks for the boost!
I hate you because I never thought of it this way, “You’re arrogant when the weaknesses and failures of others consume your thinking.” I’ve been focusing on what one of my co-workers does wrong…even though he does so much right.
Thoughts are things (Thanks, Wayne Dyer, Ernest Holmes, Louise Hay, and all the others). I’ve been in spiritual mindfulness practice for 10+ years so I’ve been watching my stream of random thoughts for a very long time. When I catch myself in negative thought patterns, I know these thoughts are ego-based, so I reach for a higher vibrating thought.
Thanks Connie. It’s so easy to forget the good someone is doing and put a magnifying glass on their weaknesses and wrongs. Of course some issues need to be addressed. But for some reason all the good can be obscured.
It takes careful and open consideration to embrace a more balanced view.
The other challenge is once we make up our mind, we find reasons to support our decision.
Thanks again for your transparency.
“The arrogant know. The humble learn.” When I’m more convinced about what I “know” and I’m unwilling to learn, I’m being arrogant.
“You’re arrogant when the weaknesses and failures of others consume your thinking.” Gotta watch that thought life. I only need to focus on where I need to grow.
“If you don’t grapple with arrogance, you’re pinned and don’t know it.”
Thanks for the kick in the butt (and the pat on the back).
GOLD! Absolute gold!
Nicely done! Humility is the cornerstone of servant leadership. Arrogance and therefore pride are the primary obstacles to practicing humility and developing character. Thanks for this!
Someone recently shared your blog post with me. You have a lot of good information here.
I am not clear on what you mean by this:
“Arrogance, like salt, disappears when it’s active in your life. ”
Are you saying that when you practice arrogance (are arrogant) you get use to it and can see your arrogance less and less?
To put this another way, just like getting use to having more and more salt on your food and developing a tolerance, as you practice arrogance you can’t see it?
Hi Steve. Thanks for asking about the salt. You nailed it. When arrogance is active in our lives we are usually the last to see it.