31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 26 – Arrogance

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Pharmaceutical sales representatives are familiar with the customer referred to as the “Know-it-all doctor.” The connotation was not just a physician who knew everything, but an individual who was arrogant and spoke to people in a condescending manner. There was a feeling of superiority which made it difficult to deal with others. The air of arrogance made it hard to be effective as a leader. The person who knows everything and feels no one can teach them anything, is difficult to talk to and may not be open to receiving important information.

Many times, we use arrogance to cover-up for an insecurity. We don’t want people to recognize a deficiency in some aspect of our behavior and we do not wish to be challenged. On other occasions we do not wish to be questioned because we feel we are better than everyone. Humility is not a skill that makes them comfortable.

When you make the commitment to move beyond arrogance, it must be done with authenticity. Here is an example of what not to do. A manager received feedback that addressed his arrogance of feeling he was always right. It revealed that he did not listen to his direct reports, did not solicit their comments, but when they were given, he would not value or use them. It was described as follows.

He would adopt the stance of a good listener, someone concerned about his staff’s point of view. He would lean forward, establish direct eye contact and use transitional phrases such as, go on, is that so, I did not know that and tell me more. At the conclusion, he would thank them for their courage and valuable input. He would close by saying, he was glad to have the opportunity to know how they felt, but he would continue with his idea and the original plan. His subordinates were confused and wondered why ask for their opinions and bother going through such a pointless exercise. His actions curtailed their ideas and reduced trust. Why give comments if they did not matter?

Personalize your actions to prevent arrogant behavior by focusing on these areas.

  1. Beware of arrogant tendencies.

  2. Listen to others.

  3. Involve others in your decision making

  4. Include their ideas to show you value their suggestions

  5. Do not respond in a threatening manner when you don’t like what you hear

People do not wish to support the arrogant person. They may withhold information. They may watch someone go down the wrong path and remain silent. They will surely not give them their best effort. They will do just enough to keep their jobs. They will engage in OMDB (Over My Dead Body) behavior and thinking. Review the poem below and reflect on it and discuss with others.

Many of us may be blind to our arrogant ways. In order to change we must be open to critical remarks without taking them personally. Act as if people may feel you are arrogant, and request insight. A manager read the poem below and was offended, for it struck a nerve. He was offended by the content because he thought I was speaking to him. However, members of his staff contacted me and confirmed that it was an accurate depiction of his arrogant leadership style. Let’s act as if this might be the case. Remove personal anxiety and allow people the opportunity to give you comments that are good for everyone.

You Might Not Be A Leader

You may have been a superstar in sales;

An individual who never fails,

But, if you can’t ensure the group prevails,

You might not be a leader.

If vision is absent and no one cares,

If knowledge is power, you will not share;

If you look behind you and no one’s there;

You might not be a leader.

If you did not earn stripes or pay your dues;

If faced with decisions, you fail to choose;

If people ask for help and you refuse,

You might not be a leader.

A passive aggressive management style,

If your deficiencies are in denial;

Too selfish to journey the extra mile,

You might not be a leader.

When seen as a puppet of management,

To throw teammates under the bus is meant,

As a symbol of brewing discontent,

You might not be a leader.

If you lack trust and thought to be lying

And giving feedback is terrifying,

Here is a fact that’s not worth denying,

You might not be a leader.

You feel emotional intelligence

Are soft skills without any relevance,

And being vulnerable makes no sense,

You might not be a leader.

If given a job that’s over your head;

If you cannot reach them, the word will spread,

If you cannot teach them, it will be said,

You might not be a leader.

Copyright © 2019 Orlando Ceaser

Personal Reflections

  1. Do you solicit input from others?

  2. Do you use ideas presented by your staff?

  3. Do you speak down to others when they state their opinions?

  4. Do you involve others in your decision making?

  5. Review stanzas and lines that relate to arrogance in self and others.

  6. Do people come to you for advice on a frequent basis?

  7. How do you receive feedback on your impact?

  8. Does your impact match your intent?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com

The ‘O’ Zone Blog: myozonelayer.com

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31 Day Leadership Gauntlet – Day 13 – Intimidation


The next station on the gauntlet is intimidation. There are people or systems in place that wish to thwart your development. They will stand in front of you in order to block your path. They may be openly hostile or work behind the scene to be a barrier. Their peace of mind cannot exist if you are a candidate competing for the accolades of the spotlight. Therefore, intimidation is a tool of the insecure.

Intimidation may be experienced from a competitor on the job, a competitor in the marketplace or an individual acquaintance whose actions brazenly attempt to block your progress. You may be perceived as a threat. You may be unassuming, beaming with humility, but nonetheless, you are a force that needs to be suppressed.

The Hindre™ will be used as an all-purpose image of the resistance and intimidation. It was created to exemplify people and forces that hinder your performance. In my introductory blog post, the Hindre™ was described as follows;  “The Hindre™ is a person or spirit whose purpose is to keep you down, drain your confidence, stunt your growth, hold you back, and prevent you from moving forward, realizing potential and living up to your expectations. They are positioned in households and organizations to thwart success, to discourage siblings and offspring and to disillusion those who have the ability and talent to achieve their dreams.”

You may not wish to think negatively. It is not healthy to walk around paranoid, but the doctrine of survival wants you to be observant. You must be observant, even if you see yourself as a servant to do good and help others. Survival and success, encourages you to face intimidation, anticipate intimidation and derive a strategy to handle it effectively.

How will you face intimidation today?

If Someone Perceives You as a Threat

If someone perceives you as a threat,

It’s hard to encourage you and to let

Your potential grow and be objective

And fathom the world from your perspective.

If someone perceives you as a threat,

They will intentionally try to bet

Against you and hope you do the same;

For they want to remove you from the game.

They tamper with confident people’s minds;

Let you in the race, but place you behind,

And pamper you with condescension,

To hamper you by creating tension.

They want to own you like property;

Subconsciously, treat you improperly;

Deny your physical and civil rights;

Bombard with pernicious and subtle slights.

They will attack your self-esteem;

Think it’s a waste of time for you to dream;

Make you second guess your own existence,

So that you concede without resistance.

If someone perceives you as a threat.

Unconscious and conscious biases beget

Micro-inequities and aggression;

Micro-messages are an obsession.

If someone perceives you as a threat;

They want you entirely in their debt.

They are treacherous and will use power,

To wring hope out of every hour.

Mislabeled, while mistreated and misled.

They will try and get inside your head;

Provoking you with their skills to incite

Confrontation and blame you for the fight.

If someone perceives you as a threat,

What tactics will you use to make them sweat?

You must use your excellence to confirm,

You are here for the moment and long term.

If someone perceives you as a threat;

They fear they haven’t seen anything yet;

For there is determination in your eyes;

On the way to fully actualize.

They try negativity to define,

The image that they want people to see;

But, don’t let their efforts to undermine,

Discourage your purpose and destiny.

Copyright © 2017 Orlando Ceaser


Personal Reflections

  1. Who are the intimidating people or circumstances in your world?

  2. What can you do to minimize their impact?

  3. Who can you go to for help?

  4. Can you schedule a meeting with verse to discuss their actions in your discomfort?

  5. What situations do you find particularly threatening?

  6. How can you invent the intimidation from affecting your performance?

More leadership information at OrlandoCeaser.com.

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