Pride and Insecurity: Leadership Killers

One day I was leading a meeting with a group of about 25 managers that reported to me. At the opening of our meetings we would always discuss a leadership topic. On this particular day I choose responsiveness. As I was speaking about the importance of being responsive to customers, other departments, and our team one of the managers raised her hand. What came next was gut check time…Pride and Insecurity

      ” I sent you an email two weeks ago asking you a question. I have been waiting for a response but have not receive it. I do not think that is being very responsive.”

As a leader there are going to be times when our response to a situation will reveal our true leadership. We should not let our pride or insecurity kill our leadership.

Your pride will be the devil on your shoulder convincing you that you are the most intelligent and important person in the room. Your pride will elevate you above all others. Once you elevate yourself above others their opinions, ideals, and feelings no longer matter. Would you follow someone who is indifferent to your opinions, ideals, and feelings? Leadership Killer.

Insecurity is the devil on your other shoulder whispering you better defend and cover up your mistakes because you are not good enough. Our insecurities can cause us to lash out or attack others in order to deflect attention from our own mistakes. Insecurity keeps us in a defensive mind frame where we believe the opinions, ideals and feelings of others are an attack on our own. Again…Leadership Killer.

In that moment I had to push back against both my pride and insecurity. As a leader I was not exempt from being responsive. My response…

     “First, let me say I am sorry I have not responded to you. I could say that I have been busy but that is not an excuse. When we meet as a group to discuss leadership topics I am speaking to myself also. As a leader, I have to be more responsive to each of you.”

Acknowledging a mistake takes courage. It takes pushing pass our pride and insecurity. Great leadership requires us to care about the opinions, ideals, and feeling of others. Sometimes at the expense of our own.


About Kareem Slater

Kareem Slater is a leadership coach, trainer, & speaker. Founder of The Purple Approach. Helps organizations lead and engage their team by focusing on their Mission Statement and Core Values. Uses his passion to help others grow their leadership skills and accomplish their career goals.

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