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Leadership Today - Practical Tips For Leaders

Apr 15, 2022


Excessive pride can lead to a range of problems. We can avoid this by practicing humility.



Welcome to episode 133 of the Leadership Today podcast where each week we bring research to life in your leadership. This week we explore the importance of practicing humility in order to avoid excessive pride.

We’ve all heard the expression, pride comes before a fall. Being proud of our achievements is fine. The issue is when we elevate ourselves above others or think we are infallible. So whenever there is a track record of success, pride can become a problem. 

So what’s the issue with pride? There are three main issues when people become too proud:

  1. The need to be an expert. Pride can make it hard to say “I don’t know”. This may lead people to make poor decisions based on incomplete information or faulty logic.
  2. They receive less feedback. If you think you have it all together, people aren’t likely to tell you otherwise. This can reduce the amount of feedback received.
  3. This combination of a lack of feedback and overestimated ability makes a fall more likely to occur, and even more difficult to take.

So how do we ensure we keep excessive pride in check. The key is to practice humility. Here are five things to try:

  1. Become aware of your weaknesses, not just your strengths - if you can’t identify any weaknesses, then you are at risk
  2. Listen to others - genuinely value their input and perspectives
  3. Be willing to say “I don’t know” - it’s perfectly fine to not have all the answers
  4. Ask for help when you need it - everybody needs help and support at different points
  5. Actively seek specific feedback - don’t just ask “how am I doing?” but ask for feedback about specific areas (for example, “I want to improve the way I present - what’s something specific I could improve?”)

Pride doesn’t have to become a problem. If we want to avoid a fall, we can practice humility.