How to Overcome Arrogance

All that’s ugly in leadership begins with arrogance.

You might be arrogant if you:

  1. Look down your nose on those you serve. Arrogance views others as burdens and irritations.
  2. Beat yourself up over little mistakes. Arrogance can’t learn from failure, because failure is not an option for pomposity.
  3. Feel anger as a first response to human frailty.
  4. Secretly manipulate, rather than openly influence. Arrogance has a personal agenda. Influence seeks the highest good of organizations and individuals.
  5. Help from a high tower of superiority. You’re arrogant if giving help puffs you up, but receiving help is out of the question.
  6. Cheat to win. Saving face makes integrity a convenience, not a necessity.
  7. Consider people as objects to be used for personal gain.
  8. Reject the idea of dependence and interdependence and choose to stand aloof.
  9. Criticize first and ask questions never.
  10. Respond with ungratefulness. Entitlement robs arrogance of gratitude.
  11. Receiving value comes before giving value.
  12. View leadership as entitlement, not opportunity to serve.
  13. ‘Get it’ and others don’t. Arrogance is always ‘right’.
  14. Push back with explanations, justifications, and excuses when receiving tough feedback. If you want to see a person’s character, give them tough feedback.
  15. Never seek feedback. Giving feedback is the only option for arrogance.
  16. Your world is best explained with ‘I, me, and mine’.

The cure:

The idea that you can overcome arrogance is an expression of arrogance.

Don’t try to overcome arrogance. You can’t stop that puffy feeling in your chest when respected leaders respect you. It just happens.

The practices of humility are the only cure for arrogance.

In my twenties an elderly gentleman complimented me on my choice of clothing. I gave him a short lesson on style. I’m embarrassed by that today. Humility says thank you. Arrogance gives a lesson.

Notice your arrogance and respond with humility.

How might leaders overcome arrogance?