Pride Affects Leadership

July 18, 2016

You probably don’t wrestle with pride. I don’t wrestle with pride either. I pretty much go right along.

For me, pride is an ongoing problem. It shows up in the way I see myself as the center of everything. I find it difficult to enjoy the success of someone else. I catch myself comparing all the time. I always know which line is moving fastest and generally I’m not in it.

Humility is the result of having an accurate assessment of oneself. A humble person can be very good and know it. A humble person’s judgment is accurate, objective, and unbiased. Humility doesn’t demand someone underestimate their ability or importance. Humility is the state where an individual accurately understands where they fit in the organization, team or the community.


As a manager, I can create a situation where pride is likely to flourish. When I fail to communicate openly, honestly and accurately with the people I lead, I put them in a position to become proud. It’s almost guaranteed. Pride can look like paranoia. For lack of input from me, my team will misunderstand where they’re missing the boat. Their perception of their own performance and value will fall short of or exceed an accurate measurement and without even knowing it, they become proud.  Also, when my input fails to help them understand the value of the contributions made by themselves or others, pride begins to set in. And when I, due to lack of input, fail to inform them about business direction, values, perceptions, they again get off-center and the result is pride.

I wonder the degree to which I create the problems my team experiences. Could it be that, through my own lack of communication with my team, I create the pride problems I experience?

Battle pride with respect

Open communication, valuing others and building trust are the only ways to defeat pride in the workplace. When a team accurately appreciates each member’s contribution, pride evaporates and the team’s performance is free to excel. Skill and practice are still required for success. But no amount of talent can override the inevitable failure of a prideful group of people who try to act like a team.

So if you’re dealing with pride among your team, communicate more. Be honest, transparent, open and speak often. Tell the good and the bad. Only through respectful communication can you build the trust that will kill the pride destroying your team.


2 responses to Pride Affects Leadership


    Great timing Mike! I had a conversation with someone yesterday about 5 Temptations that we all face and Pride is numero uno! And I share my own story about battles with pride.

    A few years ago I was reading Romans 1: 19 – 22. Check it out. I believe the answer for pride and the darkness in causes in our hearts, our relationships and our world is there. It was a profound moment for me.

    I hope you find the same value in that passage that I still do.



      Thanks Chery. Appreciate the comment and the passage. Our pride creates problems for us, but when we’re in a leadership position, it can create problems for our team too. Thanks for the comment! Mike…