The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death. For leaders, a sin exists that can literally kill our influence. That sin is…pride.
I’m not talking about a healthy self-image. Leaders must possess that to make hard decisions, believe in their vision, motivate people, and take new ground. No, I’m talking about arrogance, egotism, high-mindedness, conceit, smugness, and an attitude of superiority.
Unhealthy pride causes a leader to do the following:
- Refuse to admit mistakes.
- Make decisions that are self-serving and not the best for those they are called to serve.
- Irresponsibility gamble on their abilities, and lose.
- Lack self-control.
- Think they do not need people.
- Have constant turnover.
- Publicly humiliate people.
- Lack authenticity.
- Have a team who has no loyalty.
- Fail. It is not a question of if, but when.
If you are a leader with an unhealthy sense of pride, it is not too late to change. Start by apologizing to those you have offended.
There is something very interesting about an apology. When you admit that you messed up, do you actually think you are telling people something they don’t already know? Of course they already know you messed up!
By not admitting your mistakes, you lose credibility and influence. The inverse is true as well. You gain much influence and credibility by losing just a little bit of pride. It’s a great trade, but are you too prideful to make it?