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Why CEO's fail

One of toughest balancing acts in the leadership business is between confidence and too much confidence. If you're going to succeed as a leader, you need to have confidence in your abilities. If you fail as a leader, you may have too much confidence. This oversimplifies the concept of arrogance, but it hints at the fatal flaw that infects so many CEO's.

Arrogance, from an organizational leadership perspective, is a kind of blinding belief in your own opinions. Under normal circumstances, smart leaders can see when they're being too stubborn, single-minded, and self-righteous. Unfortunately, most leaders today operate under highly stressful circumstances where they don't see how their actions are hurting themselves and their companies. From their perspective, they seem to be operating with the same insight and single-minded vision that helped them rise to their position of prominence. They see resistance as irrational and their position as infallible.

Leaders most afflicted by arrogance are the ones most likely to deny its derailing effect on their careers. It helps if you don't think of arrogance as a negative quality that must be eradicated. After all, everyone wants a leader with self-confidence. The key is learning to step back over the line you crossed (or knowing where the line is before you take that fatal step) from self-confidence to arrogance. The following will give you a sense of the side of the line you're cuurently on:

  • You're willing to fight for what you believe in, OR
  • You're unwilling to give up a fight no matter what.

  • You believe that your perspective is the correct one after evaluating other points of view, OR
  • You believe that your perspective is the correct one before evaluating others' ideas.

  • You hold yourself accountable when your strategy or idea doesn't work, OR
  • You refuse to take responsibility when your strategy or idea doesn't work.

  • You adapt your strongly held viewpoint to jibe with new information or developments, OR
  • You reinterpret events to fit your point of view.

  • You possess a powerful ego that allows you to make an impact on others, OR
  • You possess a powerful ego that couses you to dominate others.

Why CEO's fail: The 11 Behaviors

  • Arrogance: You're Right and Everybody Else Is Wrong.
  • Melodrama: You Always Grab the Center of Attention.
  • Violatity: Your Mood Shifts Are Sudden and Unpredictable.
  • Excessive Caution: The Next Decision You Make May Be Your First.
  • Habitual Distrust: Your Focus on the Negatives.
  • Aloofness: You Disengage and Disconnect.
  • Mischievousness: You Know That Rules Are Only Suggestions.
  • Eccentricity: It's Fun to Be Different Just for the Sake of It.
  • Passive Resistance: Your Silence Is Misinterpreted as Agreement.
  • Perfectionism: You Get the Little Things Right White the Big Things Go Wrong.
  • Eagerness to Please: You Want to Win Any Popularity Contest.



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