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Mark Cole: Pride Goes Before a Fall

By Mark Cole | May 17, 2019
Mark Cole: Pride Goes Before a Fall

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 a fall.”

The longer I live, the more I understand why she made sure I learned this lesson. Pride is a big problem for any leader.

Here’s why:

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 the organization.

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 humility/pride spectrum?

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 stand:

  1. Do you tend to believe you know it all?
  2. Do you tend to believe the rules don’t apply to you?
  3. Do you think you should be in charge in most situations?
  4. Do you tend to believe you can get everything done without anyone else’s help?
  5. 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.

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