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How Ego Limits Your Ability to Lead

Each time we beat back the beast of pride and choose Humility, we improve our ability to lead with character.

Humility or arrogance? As leaders if we believe we are the most important person in any situation, our pride limits our own ability to lead.

Our culture seems to celebrate the arrogance of leaders who pound their chests and promote their own accomplishments. But a Leader of Character is a counter-culture leader because a Leader of Character chooses Humility instead of arrogance. The choice is ours.

Do we choose to argue with people instead of admitting we blew it? Do we choose to avoid asking for help, when we are struggling? Do we choose to formulate rebuttals instead of truly listening to another person? Do we choose to behave like we have it all figured out instead of constantly searching for ways to grow?

The choice is ours. Do we choose the pride that limits our influence, or the Humility that inspires followers?

The Cultural Choice – Look at me!

Many people believe that Humility is a sign of weakness. They believe that people will think less of them if they choose to act with Humility. Therefore, their pride takes over and arrogance steps in.

  • “If I make a mistake, they will think less of me.”

  • “This isn’t arrogance, it is confidence.”

  • “If I show a weakness, I will be less respected.”

  • “I have been doing it this way for a long time, I am not changing now.”

  • “I need to get my way here, or else I will look weak.”

  • “I never questioned my leaders and neither should my people.”

But that pride limits our influence on others. To be a humble Leader of Character we need to put aside our instincts, our sinful natures, and the voices of the culture and realize: As leaders – It is never about us!

The Counterculture Choice – It’s not about me!

Andersons’ 12 Words (or less) Definition of Humility

Believing and acting like “It’s not about me.

A Leader of Character does not see Humility as a sign of weakness but a quiet declaration of strength.

Leaders of Character understand:

  • It is the arrogant leader who refuses to ask for help or admit mistakes.

  • It is the arrogant leader that needs to have the attention and win every argument.

  • It is the arrogant leader who demands the spotlight and craves recognition.

  • It is the arrogant leader who fears what others might think if he fails or admits a weakness.

Humility is a countercultural approach to leadership. The brash and the bold leaders are constantly getting the headlines or are pounding their chests in professional sports. But, who really wants to follow an arrogant leader?

The Leader of Character understands that they can be humble and confident at the same time. They know that sometimes the people doing the most self-promotion are often the most insecure. In fact, the people they are trying to lead see that as well.

The Bottom Line:

We all have a choice between Humility and arrogance. When we begin to make choices in order to place ourselves in the center of the story, we have become an arrogant leader whose ego limits our impact on the people we wish to lead.

To be a Leader of Character, we must overcome the ugly pride that wells up inside of all of us. Each time we beat back the beast of pride and choose Humility, we improve our ability to lead with character.

Pride places us right in the middle of our cultural norms and makes us just one of the ever growing crowd of people leading with ego.

Humility makes us a countercultural Leader of Character. We will be the rare leader who does not need the spotlight, will admit mistakes, and be on a constant search to get better.

The choice is ours.


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