I’m Arrogant! 14 Principles I Use To Reduce My Arrogance

I recently presented a Keynote titled “The 8 Attributes of Character Defined in Great Leaders”.  The talk was not intended to identify past and present Great Leaders, although there are many, rather it was designed to provide information so individuals could evaluate their current character and consider the adjustments required to achieve the character needed to become a Great Leader.

In the talk, I identified “Humility” as being one of the attributes found in Great Leaders.   Leaders are typically those who have ambition, are talented and confident when making decisions and interacting with people.  But I bet when most of us think of leaders, we don’t typically describe them with the word “humility” or use the term, “humble.”  If they did, it might not be viewed as a compliment.

One of the toughest things about teaching and speaking on leadership topics is the conscience guilt that follows you around when you are not following your own words, principles, and practices you teach or talk about. This is something I really appreciate. Because it drives me to always look at ways I can increase my influence and become a better leader.

As I continue to evaluate my leadership and my approach to people, problems, and solutions, I find myself dealing with a little of arrogance and pride. I believe I would consider myself just a bit arrogant.  Well, maybe even a bit more than a bit, depending on who you talk to.

Male manager calling his colleague

So I have been focusing on how I lessen my arrogance and replace it with more humility? The identified 14 principles that help me to lessen my arrogance and focus on my humility. It is a work in progress, and I often slip back one or two steps. But I feel it’s working.

  1. Don’t think of someone else when reading this blog.
  2. Recognize your arrogance.
  3. Know what you don’t know and admit it.
  4. Step in someone’s else’s shoes that you interact with on a daily basis and those who interact periodically.
  5. Dig deep into not so positive feedback.
  6. Acknowledge those who helped you get where you are or where you are going.
  7. Shut up and listen!
  8. Engage in conversations by asking questions.
  9. Walk around looking for things to celebrate.
  10. Quickly admit when you are wrong.
  11. Be quick to forgive and show grace to others.
  12. Be purposeful in speaking well about others.
  13. Take a seat at the lower table.
  14. Focus on strengthening relationships, not just results.

The great college basketball coach John Wooden often told his players, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be thankful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”

C.S. Lewis said this, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

 I believe humility is the antidote to arrogance. Arrogance will cause a person to fall and ultimately fail.  Humility will cause a person to rise as they fail.  People want to follow humble leaders.

So I end with a bit of a hope……May you make an everyday choice to lessen your arrogance and give credit where credit is due and acknowledge others for your success.  May you admit when you are wrong and know what you don’t know.

 If we can honestly accomplish this, then we can continue our growth as leaders.  But never forget this, IT’s NOT ABOUT YOU………..IT REALLY ISN’T!!!

Humility wooden sign on a beautiful day

INSIGHTFUL THOUGHTS ON CHANGE

Change Colorful Random Shapes

Change happens.  In fact, the only constant in life , is change.  I once told someone,

“The only things I can count on are; birth, death and change!”

If the world is going to continue, then change must occur, plain and simple.  As simple as it sounds, change is not easy.  There is always some stress involved, regardless if it’s our own choosing or not.

I recently changed jobs, which to many, was somewhat of a surprise.  I left a job that I was seemingly happy at.  I made a good living and had taken a company from virtually having no safety program to being a program desired by many competitors and even customers. It was a job I was successful at and generated a lot of personal and professional gratification.

The change meant leaving an area that I loved, a house I loved and more importantly, it meant leaving my daughter, son-in-law and my 5 month old granddaughter (my first grand baby).  So why the change?  I will provide a very simple answer at the end.

For me, job changes have been a way of life.  It typically occurs every 2-3 years.  My most recent change occurred after almost five years.  I’ve always looked at change as a positive thing.  I never want to become comfortable in a position or with a job.  I believe comfort creates complacency.  I was always working hard, looking for opportunities to improve. While the most recent change has open up the opportunity for many new challenges, it has opened my eyes to the stress it causes, not only in myself, but to those closest to me.

Change is now, handwriting with chalk on blackboard

I have come to realize all change leads to stress, even when it is of our own choosing, or is something we want.  You get a new job, buy a new house, get married, or simply buy a new car!  Well congratulations hot dog!  Now you have to wait 30 days for insurance, pay your mortgage, share your bathroom, and worry about when the first scratch will happen.

Sometimes we experience change unexpectedly, without warning.  You reach a point in life where you think you have it all under control, you hold all the cards, and everything is working just the way you want it.  Then the economy stutters, revenues decline, and you hear rumors of downsizing.   How are these changes going to affect you?  Will there be money to pay the mortgage, buy that first anniversary gift or even put gas in that shiny new vehicle?

Everything changes at some point. Whatever the change, we must adapt.  By adapting, you can learn to embrace change and conquer it for success.  However,  one must have the right mindset for accepting change.

Here are 13 quotes that will help put change in perspective.  Read these quotes and latch on to the ones that motivate and speak to your heart and mind.  Not all  of them will.  But I do think they can be beneficial when change, unexpected or planned, comes your way.

  1.  “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” —Georg C. Lichtenberg

  2. “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – Bill Clinton

  3. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

  4. “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller

  5. “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” —Jim Rohn

  6. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” —Henry Ford

  7. “When in doubt, choose change.” —Lily Leung

  8. “Change is inevitable. Change is constant.” —Benjamin Disraeli

  9. “Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.” —Anthony D’Angelo

  10. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” —Victor Frankl

  11. “You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.” —Denis Waitley

  12. “Change before you have to.” —Jack Welch

  13. “Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.” —Joan Wallach Scot

So why the change in jobs?  Because I am MOTIVATED by change and BORED by  redundancy!

Cartoon of business people who want to avoid change.