3 Ways to Shrink a Bighead

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” Ann Landers

7 reasons humility is a brilliant idea:

  1. You’re not as smart as you think. Make room for ignorance. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  2. People that seem stupid become smart as time passes. Your parents got smarter when you had your own kids.
  3. Compliments are only partially true. People smile and tolerate your unattractive qualities.
  4. Self-made is an arrogant myth. We all stand on the shoulders of others. You’re reaching too low if you aren’t standing on someone’s shoulders.
  5. Control is illusion. You live a life of dependency.
  6. You’re going to change your mind.
  7. Success, in large part, is good fortune. You were at the right place at the right time.

3 ways to shrink a bighead:

Practice humility even if you feel arrogant.

#1. Earn respect – acknowledge weakness.

News Alert! Others already know your weaknesses. They respect you when you acknowledge what they already see.

Leaders earn respect when they see themselves as they are, not as they imagine themselves to be.

Look for opportunities to say, “I’m not good at….” Take humility to the next level by adding, “But you are.”

#2. Let others be right.

Every idea a bighead has is awesome. But every idea others have needs improvement or correction.

Think, “How might this be right?” when someone has an idea.

#3. Make mistakes.

Bigheads can’t improve because they can’t be wrong.

Arrogance doesn’t make mistakes. When was the last time you learned from screwing up?

Trying things takes you further than demanding certainty before stepping out. Humility allows for learning, growing, and improvement.

“A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” Alexander Pope

Why is humility a brilliant idea?

How might bigheads practice humility?

Resources:

THE IDEAL TEAM PLAYER, PATRICK LENCIONI (Recommended Reading)

MODELING HOW TO GROW: AN INDUCTIVE EXAMINATION OF HUMBLE LEADER BEHAVIORS, CONTINGENCIES, AND OUTCOMES (Academy of Management Journal)