Beware! This Often Happens And We Don’t Even Recognize It

There is not a more insidious problem for leaders than pride. The pride I am talking about is the kind that creeps into our lives that produces an unteachable spirit, arrogance, and an unhealthy focus on self.

I have experienced and seen first-hand how pride creep into leadership.

So how does someone who is not overtly prideful allow it to creep in?


I spent six years on a church staff. My primary responsibility was to oversee and train up leaders for our groups and to create a leadership pipeline.

I was a sponge my first several years. I was new to the world of full-time ministry…up until that point all I knew was coaching. So I was all ears on how to improve and grow my areas of responsibility.

But a funny thing happened over a couple of years. The more I learned, the more experience I got and the more I started to see results and success, the more I thought I had all the answers.

One particular morning I had a guy who approached me with an idea about groups. I listened as I always had but one thing changed. Instead of being open to learning, my mind went straight to “What do you know about groups? I have been doing this for almost three years, I think I have a better feel than you do.”

The longer you are in a position or in a program/organization, the harder you have to fight the “I have it figured out” mindset.


Another way that we can become prideful is to surround ourselves with people who won’t give feedback or not create an environment where they feel that they can give feedback.

The longer you are in charge and the more power you have, the less self-aware you will tend to be. Unless you give permission to people around you to give you feedback, everyone will bow a knee to you and pride will creep in. Feedback is critical.


Pride often seeps into leaders by degrees. Very rarely is a leader humble one day then the next they completely flip to a prideful, closed-off, unteachable leader. It happens slowly and over time…often in ways that are not even recognized until it is too late. And before you know it…

Pride comes before a fall.

Beware of this tendency and put people around you to help you avoid this slow fade to pride.

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Travis Wyckoff

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