Don’t Let Pride Get In Your Way
Pride can be an ally or an ailment in your business
Look anywhere today, and you can see extreme pride;
Excessive demonstrations after scoring points, winning a race, or sinking a putt.
And I thought that’s what they were trained and paid to do...
Excessive selfies of where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re witnessing.
I’m so happy for you…
Excessive self-promotion on internet Social Platforms.
Wow, another 10,000 step day and you avoided that candy bar...
Welcome to a world of humans, filled with emotions.
Your business is a microcosm of this same world, in that it is also populated by humans. Regardless of the actual number of people working in your company, there is a complex tapestry of intertwined human personalities between the Supply Chain and your Customers. Each thread completing a line of self-worth, contribution, satisfaction, growth, acknowledgment, feedback, fulfillment, etc.
Now, this article intends to be a business discussion on the effects of pride, both positive and negative. Although it is not the intent of this article to delve into anyone’s personal aspects of pride, it is the nature of pride itself to evoke those personal connections. Subsequently, this is a work of observational commentary; Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author's experiential learning or used illustratively. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
According to definition [Dictionary.com]: pride [prahyd] noun - 1) a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. 2) a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one's position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.
So, we see Pride is an emotion that carries two opposing meanings.
A negative connotation; pride refers to an extreme or irrational sense of one's personal value.
A positive connotation; pride refers to a humble feeling of strong appreciation of agreement toward values, choices, or actions, made by one’s self or others.
Pride in and of itself is not dangerous. As with any emotion, it may be used as a tool to outwardly express insight into one’s inner nature, thoughts, or feelings. One should take some pride in themselves or feel proud about some traits or accomplishments. However when pride distorts the position into one of self-envisioned superiority, a being of always right, then pride can be detrimental to effectiveness, communication, sustainment, and growth.
Right now you may think you’re able to handle anything that comes your way. But life is uncertain, and eventually, we all face things we can’t handle. It may be an accident, a devastating illness, an unexpected financial reversal, a broken relationship with a client or co-worker, or any of a hundred other problems I could mention.
Many religions have discussed the effects of pride. In Judeo-Christian writings, pride is called the root of all evil. Philosophers and social psychologists have also noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the understanding that pride is distinct from happiness and joy.
So, where do we draw the line on pride?
Well, in business, it would be beneficial to skew toward the Us/We, rather than the I/Me. This infers a strong sense of common rally points and effective team building. To allow for the humble or respectful demonstration of the individual and the team, through healthy promotion, is the key. As in most things in life, moderation and control are the mandates of practical implementation.
For the sake of brevity, this article will only describe the general outlines for the creation of beneficial environments that allow for Company Pride and Personal Pride.
One way is to instill the following widely accepted five-step PRIDE model:
P - Provide a positive working environment
R - Recognize, reinforce, and reward individual efforts
I - Involve and engage everyone
D - Develop the potential of your workforce
E - Evaluate and hold managers accountable
This model identifies the foundational steps each company should instill into their Us/We philosophy. It does not replace recognition for individual accomplishment or effort, but it does promote the sense of team-oriented participation and achievement.
Give your team something to be proud of:
A great product or service.
A slogan that highlights the dedication to being the best.
A company color scheme.
A common rally point (goals, vision, awards, etc.)
A sense of belonging to the team.
Building an environment within the company that nurtures self-worth along with building the team effect can be challenging, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor. Allow for the rewarding or acknowledgment of individuals, their strengths, contributions, and talents. This can be coupled with the pronouncement of how those factors contributed to the team/company success. Regardless of the what, it is the environment that creates, supports, and sustains the belief that the company supports the Team and the Individuals.
Give the individual something to be proud of:
This acronym statement speaks to the institution of the Company Pride principals within the reach of the individual. To allow the individual contributor to experience the meaningful, humble feeling of pride to be part of something much larger than they are, and yet know they have been part of the success story.
This only happens when the leadership can humble itself to take a step back, and allow for the acknowledgment of others in the recognition.
Give the individual something to be proud of:
A great work/life balance.
A company that reinvests in the employee that displays ownership.
A business environment of openness in communications.
A strong positive company reputation.
A place others would desire to work.
The Bottom Line
Top performing companies are top performing because they consistently provide ways to allow for positive and healthy outlets of pride. They are not only good at it, they deliberately put it into their business strategy. Company pride is a valuable part of their company’s strategic plan for continued competitive success. As has been discussed in previous articles written by this author, the function or dysfunction of a business is predicated on the Leadership. This term, leadership, is more of a description in principal and values than in the possessive nature of a person or their team. So, it is the environment as a whole that allows for the success of the company; Core values, communication, belief in product or service, Customer satisfaction, Supplier alliances, etc. Each is part of the essential whole, but each does not have to be created simultaneously. As mentioned earlier, this is a collage of humans and human interactions.
The bottom line is that company pride is integral to sales, client relationships, functional team development, company culture, employee engagement and buy-in, and encouraging innovative thinking.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this entire article, I’m so proud of you...
Where does your System fit in?
Does your company have a robust method for dealing with the effects of Pride? We’ve been there, seen that...and we do not put ourselves in a position to judge. Instead, as a helpful partner, we respectfully help study, support, and solve the root cause issues that will allow your business to get back onto the success track.
Our network has a Subject Matter Expert [SME] for every business segment and each department, assure our Clients that they can be confident in any area of improvement or compliance.
If your company is in need of a SME for the areas discussed in this article, don’t hesitate to contact our team at the Business Brain. We have support personnel for every segment of a business, and we specialize in the diagnosing, prescribing, and rehabilitation of challenged businesses. We can also assist in the financing, with favorable rates and terms.
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