Misguided Pride

I think pride gets a bad rap. Pride is good. Parents should be proud of their kids. (Hopefully their kids give them reasons to be proud) Leaders should be proud of the people and teams they lead. It’s great, and even necessary, to take pride in your own efforts. Being proud of what you do and how you do it can promote healthy self-esteem. 

The key word in that previous sentence is “can.”

People begin to notice when you have success. They tell you how good you are. Hearing that you are doing something right, or doing something better than other people, never gets old. But…

When you’re in a leadership position people may start commenting on what a great job you’re doing building the team. That’s nice to hear. But sometimes you’re better off not hearing it and if you do you’re way better off not believing it. 

As an Authentic Leader you have a positive impact on your organization. You may even bring out the best in your people. But you didn’t put the best in them, it was already there. You helped them bring it to the surface. You didn’t give them the potential for greatness, you merely helped them discover it was there all along. 

When someone points out that the team “couldn’t have done it without you” your first, second, and third thoughts should be that you couldn’t have done it without the team. Every Authentic Leader knows full well that their success is completely dependent upon the success of the team and people they lead. 

Authentic Leaders help people succeed in many ways. The key word in that sentence is “help.” The success of the people you lead is theirs, not yours. When you become too proud of their success that you start believing their success actually belongs to you then you immediately begin to lose the opportunity to Authentically Lead. 

Your people stop performing for you. Their engagement level drops. Their commitment level disappears. You lose them. By then it’s often too late to recover, your misguiding pride has led you away from the people you used to lead.

So as a leader go ahead and be proud of the fact that you’ve helped other people, maybe even lots of other people. Celebrate their accomplishments with them but never forget they own their accomplishments, not you. You were and are, merely the guide on their path to success. 

Self-esteem is a vital ingredient for a happy and fulfilled life. Some level of pride is required for self-esteem. Just remember, there is a substantial difference between being proud and being prideful. 

On a different subject… Everyone can use a “nudge” towards success. I’m trying something new on Twitter. It’s called “Super Followers.” For $5 a month, that’s 17 cents a day, people can follow a part of my Twitter stream that is for subscribers only. It features short videos of me discussing leadership topics, sales tips and ideas for better overall relationships. I’m assuming there will be far fewer Super Followers than the million or so people who regularly follow me on Twitter. That will give me the opportunity to answer questions more throughly than I can on regular Twitter. Most of the answers will come in the evening cause we all have day jobs, right? Think of it as ”mentoring on demand!”

My goal with SuperFollowers is to build a better connection, one where I can help more and have a greater impact. I’m hoping it gives me a chance to mentor to a wider audience. It’s still new, we’ll see how it works. It’s a $5 dollar investment that may be the extra “push” you need to get to where you want to be. I’d be honored to be able to help get you there. 

You can find more information by clicking the Super Follow button on my Twitter profile page IN THE TWITTER APP. http://twitter.com/leadtoday Give it a try if you’re so inclined, and if you are, be sure to let me know how I’m doing and how I can be of even more help.

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