How to Overcome the Dangers of Entitlement

The source of entitlement is arrogance.

If you aren’t grappling with arrogance, you’re blind to its influence.

You’re arrogant if:

  1. Offenses come quickly and frequently. Are you easily offended?
  2. Compassion takes the form of looking down on the “little” people. Is your nose in the air?
  3. Forgiveness is for weaklings. Are you holding grudges?
  4. Expectations for others are high, but you make exceptions for yourself. Do you expect others to do things you won’t do?


Everything good in leadership begins with humility. Everything bad in leadership is rooted in arrogance.

Arrogance demands and expects.

Humility receives and enjoys.

Entitlement and gratitude:

The enemy of gratitude is entitlement.

The ability to experience gratitude requires benefit-thinking.

When you don’t receive what you feel entitled to receive – you feel more entitled. (Emmons) Eventually, resentment takes over.

Entitlement feels ungrateful when it finally gets what it feels it deserves. “It’s about time!” There’s no joy when you receive the respect and obedience you feel entitled to receive.

High self-esteem that translates into, “I’m entitled,” sucks gratitude and joy out of life.

Why does Mary have a higher salary when you’re more qualified?

  • What benefits are you receiving?
  • How might current circumstances represent benefit?
  • Whose shoulders are you standing on?

Aspiration and gratitude:

Arrogant-aspiration destroys gratitude.

The nature of aspiration is that it’s unmet. But arrogance rejects imperfect attainments. Progress is another way of saying, “We aren’t there yet.”

Arrogant-aspiration for advancement is the reason you hate your current position and resent those over you.

Gratitude practice:

  1. Reach for what you hope to achieve, and – at the same time – celebrate what you currently have.
  2. Honor achievement and reach high.
  3. Honor the success of others and pursue your own. Gratitude protects you from envy.
  4. Respect progress and press for more.

How might leaders overcome entitlement?

How might leaders embrace aspiration and practice gratitude?