Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's All About ME

Rufus Wainwright said,“Everything I do, I feel is genius. Whether it is or it isn't.” Ahhh, arrogance.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines arrogance as: “An attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.”

Let me see. Does that definition fit anybody we know? Just a hunch, but I’ll bet you could apply that definition to a lot of people occupying leadership positions.

Some have been given their leadership roles too quickly and therefore pick up a degree or two (or three) of arrogance along the way. Unfortunately, the people around them end up suffering for it.

Arrogance causes natural confidence to disintegrate while the person primarily serves themselves. The real sad part is that the arrogant assumes his views and opinions are the truth. He sees no weakness in himself and may even secretly rejoice in finding flaws in others. Team cohesiveness quickly goes down the drain.

You DON'T have to put up with arrogance. Give the arrogant the benefit of the doubt - consider confronting him after he's displayed inappropriate behavior. Explain how you interpreted the behavior and let him know you're trying to help him and the team.

Many people quickly realize they were perceived negatively and work to deal with their arrogance. Even if they're not completely successful in altering themselves, they're now at least aware of it and should be able to limit the behavior to some degree.

Sure, there'll be others that won’t get it . . . at all. You did the right thing though, by making them aware of how they're perceived and you may want to bring it up to him again at a later point. But give him some specifics on what he's doing and how it's impacting the team.

Bottom line - watch it! If it's your supervisor that's the arrogant one, subtly let him know. If it's you that's the arrogant one, listen to your peers and learn to change.

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