Pride and ego are always the foundation from which all great mistakes are made.
The very essence of leadership is in growing others, and smart leaders know excellence is a function of multiplication, not addition. They know success is compounded by equipping, not stripping people of their creativity and innovation.
In almost every case where a leader has failed, there is a common root cause: the leader developed an addiction to excessively high levels of pride and ego resulting in a tsunami-sized self-worth and a mind-blowing distortion of reality.
Without the proper training, coaching, and organizational barriers in place to prevent them, here are the 5 most common problems of high pride and huge ego leaders:
1. The Leader Becomes Unteachable
When a leader becomes unteachable, he stops growing. And when the leader stops growing, so does his people. Eventually the best employees leave, and those who remain essentially are on a slow march to future irrelevance and extinction.
2. The Leader Lives Outside the Rules
Rules. What rules? The prideful and egotistical leader truly believes the rules don’t apply to him. This leads to poor character choices and violations of integrity which can have disastrous consequences. You need look no further than the tragic Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 for a classic example of leaders living outside the rules.
3. The Leader Refuses to Admit Mistakes
Often the first observable evidence of pride and ego-induced blindness is the clear omission of admission of obvious mistakes. That’s because the leader has begun to live in denial and started to become out-of-touch. The more prideful the leader is, the more distorted the leader’s reality becomes.
4. The Leader Uses Blame as a Weapon of Choice
Once the refusal to admit mistakes is firmly entrenched in a leader, pride and ego cause the cover up. That means someone other than the leader must be blamed. Shortcuts become the norm with blame firmly becoming the weapon of choice when results don’t meet expectations.
5. The Leader Becomes the Weakest Link
Wherever a prideful and egotistical leader exists, so does a ceiling on his team’s abilities and capacity. The team will never reach its full potential because their leader spends the majority of his time terrorizing and devaluing his people. At that point, any prior success and any future growth become unsustainable because the team will have stopped practicing the daily disciplines that led to their previous achievements.
Like an addictive drug, high levels of pride and ego severely distort a leader’s perspective and reality. In our work with emerging and seasoned leaders, we coach them to always remember this truth – the more that you have, the more difficult it will appear to be to give up to go up.
Through our training and coaching processes, our experts instill the skills required to help individuals, teams, and organizations avoid the engulfing and extremely costly mistakes driven from pride and ego. Contact us for a free consultation and additional tips for developing effective leaders using high impact results with low impact effort.
The Floor is Yours
What challenges have you experienced while working for a high pride, huge ego leader? Please share them in the comments below.
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