Masterful leaders achieve a balance in seemingly opposing traits. Take pride and humility, for example. On the surface, it might seem that pride is the ticket to an ego trip. Conversely, too much humility results in indecisiveness. To be a leader, you need to keep both pride and humility in the right equilibrium.
It’s human nature to be proud of our achievements. When pride falls out of balance, though, it can easily turn to arrogance. What are the pitfalls of pride?
Pride clouds judgment. When it’s all about you and your ego, you no longer make decisions based on a solid foundation.
Pride puts your vision in the forefront, not the organization’s. You’ll move boldly, but not in the right direction.
Pride makes you unapproachable. You won’t hear the feedback that you need, because people know you don’t want it.
Here’s how to nurture the trait of humility as a way of keeping pride in check.
Be ready to listen and learn from others. Make time each day to learn something new from those around you.
Share knowledge to “seed” others’ strengths. Communicate lessons learned and best practices, helping less experienced leaders continue their development.
Give credit to others when it’s due. Be liberal and specific in communicating others’ achievements.
Admit mistakes. Share what you did wrong and how you are correcting it.
Above all, avoid false humility. People see through fake modesty and find it distasteful at best. False humility guarantees that people won’t trust you.
To be an authentic leader, the scales must tip in favor of humility. Your achievements will allow you to soar with the eagles, and you’ll be grounded at the same time. Thomas Merton said it best: “Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real.”
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