Pride can be a terrible detriment to leadership when applied personally. What I mean by this statement is if pride is held within or leaders direct their pride toward themselves, then I submit they will struggle as leaders. I find that leaders with a large sense of personal pride hold themselves higher than others and are not as willing to selflessly sacrifice for others. In this aspect, personal pride can be equated with arrogance. It may manifest itself through unyielding ego, or an aura of supremacy. However, this is not the type of pride I want to focus on today – it is pride for others as a leader.
One of the greatest thrills for leaders is to see their team members and their teams succeed. Watching team members grow and be prosperous in their own right is just as or even more satisfying than earning awards or achievements ourselves. For example, my children and my husband worked hard, and all of them earned their next level belt in karate over the weekend. Though I had nothing directly to do with their accomplishment, I still felt an overwhelming sense of pride for my family. I was floating on air just as much as they were! Why? Again, I had nothing to do with their success directly. The pride I felt came from watching them succeed.
The flip side is what they felt. I have been the recipient of awards, and that is a different feeling. There is a sense of accomplishment and of pride, but it is different. I think it is best to say that particular feeling of pride is tempered with a great deal of humility. Maybe that is why the feeling of pride as a leader is so much stronger and more powerful – the humility is gone. I can be as proud as possible and happy for others without having a conflicted heart.
CEO, The Professional Development Team