31 January 2007

Thoughts on Leadership

Maxwell's recent Leadership Wired had some excellent points...

Pride - A Leader's Greatest Problem

Pull a 10-dollar bill from your pocket, and you will see the face of Alexander Hamilton on the front. By merit of his accomplishments, Hamilton should be one of our greatest national heroes. Consider his contributions to America:

• Revolutionary War hero
• George Washington’s chief of staff by age 22
• America’s first Secretary of the Treasury
• Co-author of The Federalist Papers
• Creator of the Coast Guard
• Designer of the nation’s banking and finance system
• Architect of a system of tax collection to bring revenue to the U.S. Government
• Builder of the infrastructure for an industrial economy

Yet, despite displaying the greatest blend of legal, political, and financial knowledge of the founding fathers, Hamilton does not rank among the foremost heroes of our country’s history. Why? Pride. Hamilton’s self-importance and inability to take an insult alienated those around him and sabotaged his career. His ego literally killed him. Far too vain to patch up differences with fellow politician, Aaron Burr, Hamilton was shot and killed by Burr in a duel at the age of 49.

The problem of pride

  • Pride stops us from building a team
  • Pride renders us unteachable
  • Pride closes our mind to feedback
  • Pride prevents us from admitting mistakes
  • Pride keeps us from making changes
  • Pride encourages poor character choices
  • Pride hinder us from reaching our potential
  • Pride destroys relationships
  • Pride distorts your perspective on reality
  • Read the rest of what Maxwell said here. Wow, a lot to chew on...

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