Leadership Foundations: Pride vs. Humility

Each of our leadership styles are framed on a foundation shaped by personal experience, nurture, and learning. We have all picked up good and bad habits from those who have led us and we inevitably learn certain leadership skills in school, through informal reading, blogs, news, etc.

Have you ever thought, however, that there may be different foundations of leadership? 

Different philosophies that take you in different directions?

While various degrees and nuances exist, there are 2 fundamental foundations for leadership:

1. Humility-based Leadership

2. Pride-based Leadership

Humility & Leadership

Humility-based leadership is grounded in security, knowing who you are and what you are good at (and not good at) and being comfortable with both. Humble leaders are secure leaders who are confident without being arrogant. They are realistic about their skills and passions, while also embracing the wisdom and expertise of others. Since they don’t feel the need to prove anything or hide anything they are easier to follow and more often endeared.

Pride & Leadership

Pride-based leadership, however, is grounded in insecurity – not knowing who you are and what you are truly meant to be. Those without grounding become uncomfortable in their own skin. Prideful leaders are insecure and tend to compensate by pretending to be different (arrogant), trying to prove themselves often while hiding when they are afraid someone might find out their insecurity – be it financial, emotional, relational, experiential, or a deficiency of competence.


The ramifications of these two styles are groundbreaking. If you lead in humility there is less drama, both internally and externally, not to mention greater productivity. However, when you lead from pride then the pattern becomes increasingly volatile, marked by rampant abuse of power and a lack of peace of mind.

If you’re wondering which style you’ve rooted your leadership in, here are a few questions to help you find out and make adjustments as needed:

1. List the significant leaders in your life. Which platform above did they build off of?

2. What was the wake of their leadership impact on you?

3. Do you have a tendency to be insecure or over-secure (arrogant)?

4. How would those you lead describe you?

5. Finally, which foundation do you believe you lead from? Pride or humility?

If we are going to grow as leaders we must be willing to ask ourselves the hard questions. Let’s all choose to start now by building our leadership platforms from a base of humility and then begin raising up leaders from that foundation. Doing so will not only benefit those around you, but most importantly, yourself.

This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your foundational leadership style affects your influence, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!

Source: GiANT

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