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When has pride pushed you back?

It’s wonderful to have pride in your life, but pride has a dark side called ego. 

If left unchecked, your ego can get in the way of being straightforward. Pride exists at an organizational level and can just as easily become tainted. 

 Think about it. How many times have you witnessed senior level executives not acknowledging a problem. The reason? Pride. Ego. 

They don’t want to admit that there is a problem because of ego. Someone else will think they’re weak or that they will lose face. To admit your decision was wrong means you are weak, correct? It’s absolutely the opposite!

I once shared with the head of product development that I had saved another organization a billion dollars through our company’s work. I even showed him an article that backed up my statement. I had been wanting to work with his organization so I thought this would be a good way to break the ice. 

When I met him, I told him that I could save his organization $500 million. He told me they were already doing well, and thought the other company had faked the data. I asked him if he realized he had just accused me of cheating. He apologized, but again told me they were doing well. My instincts told me his ego was getting in the way of admitting they could be doing better. In his mind, admitting his organization could be doing better meant he had somehow failed. 

I asked him if he was saying there’s absolutely no room for improvement.

He told me, “Of course. There is always room for improvement.”

I asked if he was afraid to admit he could use help. 

After a pause, he responded that he was indeed concerned to admit he could use some help. 

You can’t fix a problem if you deny it exists. 

When was the last time pride prevented you from moving forward and instead pushed you back?

Subir Chowdhury

Subir Chowdhury

One of the world’s pre-eminent experts on quality and process improvements, Subir Chowdhury is the #1 international bestselling author on SIX SIGMA philosophy. Hailed by The New York Times as a “leading Quality expert,” and by Business Week as “the Quality Prophet”, he is the author of 15 books. His latest book THE DIFFERENCE: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough (Crown Business, 2017) made it to the USA Today Bestseller list as well as National Bestseller in India. In 2017, India’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur established the ‘Subir Chowdhury School of Quality and Reliability’ – the first of its kind in Asia. He is the Chairman and CEO of ASI Consulting Group and helped his clients save billions of dollars.

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