Leadership Arrogance (Part II): Is It Destroying Your Brand?
Your brand is your promise, and as a leader, if you tolerate bad behavior and arrogance in your organization, especially amongst your leaders – you are probably doing more damage than good!
With the war going on between Russia and Ukraine, we don’t have to look very far to see the ultimate example of Leadership Arrogance gone awry. And, while the damage it is doing to innocent people is so visible and appalling, we sometimes fail to see the more subtle or damage that Leadership Arrogance can have on your brand, your organization, and your people.
The Real Thing
When you open a can of Coke ®, you have an expectation of what it is going to taste like. It is the company’s promise that you will have the exact same experience (taste) over and over again, no matter how many times you open a can.
Similarly, your brand is what people expect and experience as a result of interacting with you, your organization, or your people.
The question I have for you is this: Is arrogance negatively damaging your brand?
When Leadership Arrogance resides at the top of an organization, like gravity, it will always find it’s way to the bottom and impacts the entire company. Think Wells Fargo and all of the scandals over the last number of years, it was an is a cultural issue that started at the top!
I define culture as the collective beliefs and behaviors of a specific group of people. When you allow your leaders to act in an arrogant way, that arrogance will eventually permeate through the entire organization. It gets woven into the very culture of the organization and becomes part of the brand.
Cars, Purses, & Arrogance?
A number of years ago studies done at the University of British Columbia showed that rude and arrogant sales associates sell more in luxury stores like Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, etc..
Yes, arrogance can be a brand! Especially, when your talking about $10,000 purses and $250,000 cars. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about plunking down a small fortune to wear or drive a luxury brand (as shallow as that may seem).
However, when it comes to leadership and people, I believe arrogance has the exact opposite effect. It does serious damage to both parties.
This is especially damaging during tumultuous times like we are experiencing now. Companies are having to beg, coax, and coerce people back to work and/or back to the office!
So, is Leadership Arrogance Destroying Your Brand? Below are 5 questions you can ask yourself to find out:
Leadership Arrogance – 5 Must Ask Questions.
- Are you tolerating unacceptable behaviors in any of your leaders because you don’t want to address the issue? (We call this sweeping it under the carpet, hiding beneath the covers, or avoidance…take your pick)
- Have you had conversations with these leaders in the past and yet they refuse to change their behaviors? Actions speak louder than words, they always have, they always will. Observe the actions, not the pile of unkept commitments to change.
- Do you believe Leadership Arrogance is a sign of power or a sign of weakness? Actually, arrogance is about force and control…neither one works in the long term. Eventually, people will leave as they tire of working for jerks. This doesn’t happen immediately…it happens eventually.
- Are you tired of cleaning up the dead bodies these leaders are leaving around the office? Nothing complicated here, there are two choices: “yes” or “no.”
- When will you take the action needed to stop the degradation of your brand? Remember your brand is your promise…it is the promise you make to your employee’s to work in a great environment and your customers experience of working with you.
Sometimes we fail to see the hidden damage that misaligned behaviors, like Leadership Arrogance, has on others. We make excuses, rationalize in our minds, tolerate, or just plain ignore the impact.
Don’t let someone else’s behaviors impact your company brand. The internet and social media has skyrocketed the speed at which your brand can deteriorate. Glass Door is a social media site that informs prospective employee’s what it is like to work at your company.
Don’t let your lack of willingness to take action negatively impact your personal leadership brand. Failure to act will cause your people to question your leadership – this is one reason good employee’s leave!
Maybe this would be a good time to review Question 5?