In the author’s experience, arrogance is the most damaging trait that a person in a leadership role can possess. Arrogance is the product of an ego that is out of control; however, the ego can be restrained when the will and desire exist to do so. The will and desire to control the ego and express humility must be a lifelong endeavor for those with large egos, lest they revert to their negative ways.
A Personal Experience
For many years, the author has reported either directly or indirectly to one particular manager. The manager is an intelligent person and an experienced engineer that worked his way upward from an individual contributor position, but he is one of the most arrogant human beings that the author has ever known.
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When it was demonstrated to him that he was wrong, he usually attempted to save face by pursuing a tangent or lashing out with anger. In addition, the situation was compounded by his poor communications skills. More than once he has sent written communication that was virtually indecipherable or he used words that did not convey what he really meant. Those instances often resulted in an argument or misunderstanding that could have been avoided had he been conscious of his words. Furthermore, the manager’s imperative to think that he is right all of time is damaging to his personal relationships; he does not realize that the author has lost some respect for him.
Analysis of Arrogant Behavior
After digesting the good, the bad, and the ugly, one conclusion is that the man is bi-polar; the good and bad extremes have always been a source of puzzlement for the author and an emotional roller-coaster ride. The author also believes that power has inflated the manager’s ego. Sutton (as cited by Kerfoot, 2010) notes that, “Research confirms what many of us have long suspected: People who gain authority over others tend to become more self-centered and less mindful of what others need, do and say” (p. 351).
The Psychoanalysis of the Behavior
According to Bodolica and Spraggon