Arrogance, the Killer of Innovation and Improvement
Arrogance is major problem with some leaders. It is the toxic attitude that kills new ideas or improvements to old methods. This liability to leadership effectiveness has its roots in a fixation of thought. Plus, we find an additional attitude of selfishness in the “I know more than you, so don’t dare question my authority!”
The level of arrogance is controlled by the overall need to have position power rather than personal power. Thus, a lack of true effectiveness rules the day of the arrogant leader. It is as if they can not get out of their own way with others and situations.
Today’s economic crisis is in part due to the arrogant leaders of the financial industry. We find that several of the key leaders use only their position to lead others down a pathway. A pathway that is closer to the past than the future, thus a continued reliance upon tactics, strategies and methodologies that clearly do not work for change or improvement.
Another way of thinking about the effects of arrogance is the how much selfishness gets into the actions of these leaders. When someone thinks they are better, smarter or wiser than everyone else, they begin to do things that protect their status, rather than improve the overall good of the organization. Again, we find these attitude in all levels of an organization. When we find these people, we find the source of poor and selfish decision making.
Examples of these poor decisions include a lack of change of products for a competitive advantage (See IBM and the Power PC chip for printers and the personal computer); military advisors that thought poorly of a scientist-engineer who invented major improvements for tanks and was ignored (See the Russian army that incorporated his improvements into their battle tanks that beat the Germans in WWII.); the Financial bean counter who think that cutting cost is the only way to improve or sell a product (See entire industries become commodized or shipped overseas due to lack of understanding the total or big picture of economics); and finally look at our educational systems that continue to use the methods and classroom of the early 19th century to educate people for the 21st Century. Arrogance is alive and well in every part of professional, private and public sectors of business and the social sectors of life.
You can overcome the arrogance factor. Read our post on Tuesday for the answers. Sign up for more Leadership Insights now
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