Arrogance in Leadership

Arrogance in Leadership

For decades, experts have touted the advantages of humble leadership. Humility draws people to trust, follow and perform in ways no other leadership trait can. The executive world has been given so many case studies and success stories to make it virtually impossible to refute the power of humility in leadership. Yet more than ever, employees raise complaints about the chronic levels of arrogance in their leaders. Studies show growing trends of employee dissatisfaction, disengagement and turnover due to leadership arrogance. Arrogance at top corporate levels is statistically responsible for startlingly high failure rates in teamwork, efficiency, goal achievement and profitability. One of the top, most disdained leadership traits reported in surveys is arrogance, indicating the prevalence of the problem. Somewhere lies a disconnect between theory (which is generally accepted) and practice. Human nature plays a key role in this disconnect, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Fortunately, there are ways for leaders to recognize arrogant tendencies and do away with them. Failure to do so typically spells the failure of a career. The Nature of Arrogance As with many personality shortcomings, arrogance can be expressed in subtle or blatant ways, and everything in between. Some behavior takes time to assess to see if it is attributed to arrogance. Other behavior screams arrogance from the outset, leaving no doubt about the nature of the leader’s style. Lesser forms of arrogance come disguised as rudeness, inconsideration, disrespect or coldness. Employees subject to subtle arrogance experience having their ideas or requests ignored, being left out of conversations or having their work redone by someone else. These slights signal to...
Visionary Vulnerabilities

Visionary Vulnerabilities

We live in an age of remarkable products and services from inventive thinkers with lofty ideas. These visionary leaders, who don’t think or work like anyone else, have started businesses based on novel concepts, and those whose achievements greatly impact society are afforded special status. Employees often flock to these visionaries’ companies, hoping the future will offer prosperity within a corporate culture that promotes free thought, excitement and cutting-edge innovations. But some visionary leaders can be difficult bosses whose brainstorming and idealistic tendencies frustrate employees and create career obstacles. As the term implies, “visionary” leaders like to walk among the clouds, devoting themselves to the future, the impossible and the things that could be. Unfortunately, businesses must be run with both a widescreen view and in-the-trenches focus, so pure visionaries with only big-picture mindsets are vulnerable to losing track of their enterprises. While everyone admires visionary thinking, too much of it creates a dangerous imbalance. Fortunately, visionaries can learn effective ways to keep their companies healthy and productive. Forwardly Focused Visionary leaders are bent on taking things to the next level, solving the unsolvable problem, and developing something unprecedented or revolutionary. They passionately blaze uncharted trails. While such ambition is worthy, pure visionaries tend to be interested only in conceptualizing business ideas, and they often fail to involve themselves in the execution stages. Their brains are fast-thinking, idea-generating machines, with each concept analogous to a sheet of paper quickly torn from a thick pad. Is your mind camped on the “what ifs?” of your business, while other issues are pushed aside? Do you wish you could devote all your...