Growing up, my mom tirelessly reminded me of a popular verse
from the book of Proverbs:
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before
The longer I live, the more I understand why she made sure I
learned this lesson. Pride is a big problem for any leader.
Pride Leads to Blaming Others
Prideful people always look for someone to blame instead of
taking responsibility. If things aren’t working out for them, they
automatically assume it is someone else’s fault.
Pride Leads to Closed Mindedness
Prideful people are generally defensive and opposed to new
ideas. They are more concerned about improving their position than improving
Pride Leads to Broken Relationships
Prideful people tend to deflate others because of their
insecurity. They take too much credit for victories and give too much blame for
losses. In result, they drive away their best people.
However, of all the problems pride causes, the greatest is it
prohibits us from learning.
When we are prideful, we lose perspective on everything
around us. We begin justifying our behavior and ignoring mistakes. Pride
deceives us into thinking that our greatest problem is failure, when the truth
is our greatest problem is failing to learn.
Here’s what I
believe—you cannot learn without humility. That is why humility is the key
to success at the highest level.
How are you doing in this area? Where do you stand on the
I have listed some questions that I want you to ask yourself
and answer honestly. Just a simple yes or no will help you figure out where you
- Do you tend to believe you know it all?
- Do you tend to believe the rules don’t apply to
- Do you think you should be in charge in most
- Do you tend to believe you can get everything
done without anyone else’s help?
- Do you think you are as important/more important
than the organization?
If you answer yes to most or all of these questions, you may have a pride problem. But don’t give up! As John Maxwell says, “It’s the finish, not the start, that counts the most in life.” Change is possible for you.
Mistakes can become the best teachers if you are willing to
admit them and learn from them.
Humanity is filled with mistakes. Humility allows us to learn from them.
John Maxwell Leadership Podcast