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  • Writer's pictureDoug Fleener

False Pride or Healthy Self-Confidence?

False pride is an inflated sense of self-importance rooted in external validation and superficial attributes. Leaders with false pride need recognition from their employees. Which obviously is the opposite of what strong leaders do. Unlike healthy self-confidence based on past experiences and present actions, those with false pride display inflated egos with an underlying inferiority complex.

Staff and colleagues see the difference between the two types of leaders. They also talk about it among themselves. They likely don’t use the term false prime, but they use terms like, “They are so full of it” or “They only care about themself.” Sometimes everybody knows a leader has false pride except the leader.

How would a leader know if they have false pride or healthy self-confidence? Just being open to looking at it tells me the leader likely has healthy self-confidence. To be sure, someone can look at how they answer these seven questions.

Do you often need validation and approval from others?

Do you disregard others' contributions?

Do you become defensive when receiving feedback?

Do you overemphasize material possessions or status?

Do you fail to admit mistakes or aren’t open to learning from others?

Do you find yourself being inflexible and resisting collaborating with others?

Do you constantly need to be in control?

Answering yes to a couple of these questions shows a need to continue to evolve as a leader. Answering yes to over 50% shows a need to take a long look hard at oneself and start some in-depth work.

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