#TBT: The Endless Struggle to Think Well of Yourself

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: The Endless Struggle to Think Well of Yourself.

The tendency toward arrogance and self-satisfaction is so natural. People start with a pretty high opinion of themselves, and even the slightest evidence they’re right is enough to prove the case. And many people have a hard time feeling good about themselves without also looking down on you and me. And that small seed can destroy companies, organizations and nations.

No one I’ve ever met is immune to this, so if you want your organization to succeed, you’ll probably need to make a conscious effort to keep the roots of arrogance and smugness from taking hold. I find this quote from T.S. Eliot’s play The Cocktail Party helps:

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm — but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”

There’s no useful purpose for arrogance in any organization. Confidence, definitely. A little swagger, as the ballplayers say, sure. But arrogance goes past believing in yourself and into believing you’re a superior subspecies to all the troglodytes around you.

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