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I Hate Arrogance!

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Hubris – Noun – arrogance, excessive pride, excessive self-confidence.

Exessive Arrogance

The Hubris Leader - Leading To Stage 1 Of Their Fall

As a quick sub-post to How The Mighty Fall, stage one of the fall, as Jim Collins puts it, is the evolution of hubris. The characterization of becoming overconfident in ones abilities, creating and “everything I touch turns to gold” type of approach to maintaining (although the hubris is not conducive to maintaining, so this is somewhat said tongue in cheek) or growing a business.

Can the hubris nature be at a lower level in the company? Typically not. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. As with most structural situations where hubris exists, leading a company to an unhealthy confidence is usually an false emotion distilled by the top of the company.

The lower levels; those crunching the numbers, doing the market research or responding to the customers are those who first become unweary at the sight of such confidence, asking, “Do they really not see what could happen?” They are those presenting caution in their findings, but often falling on deaf ears of because those ears a this hubris filter that only allows findings and research that reinforces that great achievements of the company.

The leader is so confident that they are forward facing, that they mistake their vision for a mirror, presenting them only with historicals and blocking the actual view. Just as if they were driving their care with the hood up, the leader things that they drive well enough that they can still respond to any potential dangers, when in fact, their vary actions of allowing this to take place are a danger. It isn’t that they aren’t aware of the possible danger, they are actually promoting it.

As the story goes of the drive who is able to drive the vehicle over the mountain pass with treacherous terrains and at one point requires tremendous skill to take the vehicle through a narrow pass, where a mountain side is on one side and a stark cliff falls off immediately on the other. The owner of the product that needs to make it over the pass interviews drivers with most expressing how close they can come to the edge without falling off, while one drive expresses that he will do everything to stay as far away from the edge as possible. Of course the interviewer goes with the “safest” solution.

Many hubris situation have a “pushing the envelop” sort of approach” (not result), which is what poses the danger. This arrogance has a precondition of success, regardless of the field and often leads to a lack of preparation or a reckless disregard of the facts and cautions.

Often these hubris leaders throw the lower level employee, expressing caution and restraint, under the bus and in some cases label them as not being a team player or not fit for the company.

Good for the employee, they have the chance to find the right leadership and avoid the painful fall into stage one and likely onto stage two of Jim Collin’s description.

More opinions to come.

Written by ebookwisdom

April 2, 2010 at 6:18 pm

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