Pride captures the #2 position on the seven sins of leadership list because it is so ubiquitous and leads to myriad dysfunctional behaviors.
It starts out innocently enough. You work hard for a number of years, climbing your way up the organization ladder in one or several companies until, vuala, you arrive. You land in that job that you have coveted for so long. Friends and family congratulate you. Your former co-workers look at you differently, or should I say deferentially. Everything is bigger, your office, your pay, your responsibilities, your gravitas. Even your dog seems to like you better. At first you graciously accept this new found status. Then something insidious happens. You realize that you are special.
The epiphany about your specialness begins to inform your leadership worldview and mien. You rose above the others because of a long list of attributes, far too many to list, and you become proud of your accomplishment. At precisely this point, the seeds of your unraveling are sown.
When pride enters into the equation, so does a long list of dysfunctional behaviors, including a sense of entitlement, imperiousness, greed and the beginnings of the other six sins. Not a good look for any leader. The best defense against pride is a hard dose of reality.
You see, that aforementioned list of attributes that caused your promotion most likely included good timing, being in the right place at the right time and luck. Sure performance, capability and other skills also played an important, if not the most critical role, but on their own, they are usually not enough. Enter the exogenous, circumstantial attributes. Lady luck has rewarded many a grateful gambler, but deny her existence and watch the worm turn.
Staying aware of the important role of these exogenous attributes will keep you firmly grounded in the reality that you are both capable and lucky, and your career ascent was dependent upon both. Knowing this will enable you to be a fully developed leader, appreciative of your opportunity and with your pride firmly in check.