Graham馃悵 Edwards

5 years ago 路 1 min. reading time 路 visibility 0 路

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

The self-sabotage that comes with arrogance.

I know people who without a smirk or a twinkle in their eye have told me that their arrogance was a positive quality*;聽I have coached people who, although did not openly admit it, portrayed every quality that comes with the word.聽


I will stress that am not talking about those people who have a healthy confidence in their abilities, in their potential, or use personal drive as a measure of their success, but rather those people that in an insulting way believe they are better, smarter, or more important than other people.

I was in a coaching and development conversation one time and asked, "Why are you sabotaging yourself?"

To that he replied, "What do you mean?"

I told him his arrogance and self-righteousness was palpable, particularly in meetings and there were considerations that came with it.聽

I went on to point out the reasons I saw it as self-sabotage:

  • With so little experience and nothing truly proven he was compromising his credibility; I went on to suggest there is a big difference between believing you can do something and actually doing it. I finally pointed out that "on paper" he was the same as everyone else on the team, and his belief he was better had no "data" to back it up. (As they say, "In god we trust, everyone else bring data.")
  • His unfounded arrogance impacted his ability to work with other members of the team, and only in teamwork would he be effective in his current position; with his current behaviour of dismissing others, he was limiting his ability to learn essential skills regarding teamwork, learning, and "playing well"聽with others.
  • The dynamic he was creating on the team 聽was causing friction and making it difficult for the team to meet its objectives; this was impacting how management was looking at him.
  • Looking at the world through the "rose coloured glasses of arrogance" would impact his ability to self reflect and understand personal development opportunities that would be needed for his future success.
  • Although he did have potential and would ultimately could be very effective,聽I pointed out that in my experience "at any given moment there is always someone smarter, more successful, more talented, richer, etc", so arrogance is a wasted and destructive endeavour.

It turned out to be a great conversation because in the end, as arrogant as he was, he was smarter.


* In all the years I have been coaching, training or developing sales and marketing people, I have never seen "arrogance" defined as a competency; I will go out on a limb here and say arrogance is not a positive quality.

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Graham馃悵 Edwards

5 years ago #3

Thanks for the comment Dunja Radosavljevic. This is great insight... very much appreciated.

Graham馃悵 Edwards

5 years ago #2

Thanks for the comment Irene Hackett. You are right, it will infect and kill a winning team quicker than anything! I know a leader who calls it a cancer and will "cut it out" as quick as anything... it was one of the few things that would get his "blood a boilin' "

Graham馃悵 Edwards

5 years ago #1

Thanks for the comment Julie Hickman. It's an old "Six Sigma" functional excellence saying. Yes, it is interesting how the room changes when arrogance arrives... it never seems to be good.

More articles from Graham馃悵 Edwards

View blog
1 month ago 路 1 min. reading time

Celebrating this time of the year...

This timeline may not be particularly accurate, bu ...

3 months ago 路 3 min. reading time

Entering the post COVID world...

In my part of the world the COVID-19 pandemic has ...

6 months ago 路 2 min. reading time

The reflection of a nation...

I was born into a lower middle class family and gr ...