2 Dangers for Arrogant Leaders
I grew up in an anti-authoritarian time, the 60’s, and lived in a self-reliant culture of farmers in Central Maine.
High self-reliance combined with an anti-authoritarian spirit lends itself to arrogance.
#1. Arrogant leaders are self-reliant:
Arrogant leaders turn healthy self-reliance into refusing to ask for help. Arrogance looks down its nose at people who ask for help.
I love giving help. I don’t ask for help.
Not seeking help holds you back. I had to learn that people who seek help aren’t weaklings.
Truth: People who seek help go further than Lone Ranger types.
#2. Arrogant leaders believe they’re special:
I thought I was ‘special’ when I was a kid. I remember going to a country fair in East Corinth, Maine. I must have been 6 or 7. Candle pin bowling was one of the games you could pay to play. I paid and threw gutter balls. I sat on the edge of the bowling alley and pouted until they let me try again for free.
I still grapple with thinking I’m special – above the rules. On a recent hospital visit I gave myself permission to drive past a line of cars waiting for valet parking. I waited in line awhile, but I couldn’t see anyone parking cars.
I decided to drive past the line of people who waited and slipped my truck into a parking spot. I went in and visited my friend. There was no ticket on my truck when I came out.
I drove home feeling pretty good until I reflected on the type of person who thinks they’re better than others.
Truth: Making exemptions for yourself alienates people.
Symptoms of Arrogance:
- Interrupting people.
- Disinterest in other’s opinions.
- Over-competitiveness – being argumentative. Needing to be right.
- Defensiveness – taking failure, criticism, or negative feedback personally.
What symptoms of arrogance do you see in leaders? In yourself?