Dealing with Arrogant Leaders – Nu Leadership Series

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.”
Proverbs 11:2

What happens when a leader gets side-tracked by his own personal pride? This is a question most organizations dismiss. Some say it is unimportant to the organization’s mission. An arrogant leader can’t hurt an organization, can he? Let’s examine this proposition that arrogant leadership can inhabit one’s capacity to make wise decisions. Additionally, arrogance usually comes from pride.

Effective leaders understand the consequences of self-gratification. However, bad leaders don’t. They focus on getting the right organizational structure in place but never evaluate their inadequacies. Unfortunately, many times a manager makes wrong decisions because of pride. There have been prideful leaders throughout world history. On the contrary, good leaders understand prideful living. Renowned author Calvin Miller argues that all leaders lead by team building. They understand when to solicit help from employees and to acknowledge their own mistakes. Kouzes and Posner, leadership experts, maintain that even exemplary leaders gain the support of all of the individuals involved in a task; they state, “Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins you respect.” Finally, the foundation of hypocrisy is our pride. Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” Therefore, leaders need to possess a humble spirit in order to effectively manage the 21st century organization.


Miller, C. (1995). The Empowered Leader. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Kouzes, J. & Posner, Posner, B. (1995). The evolution of management thought. San Francisco: The Jossey-Bass Management Series.

© 2008 by Daryl D. Green