Grandiosity is an enemy of leadership because self-importance cannot co-exist with servanthood.
When I succumb to the temptation of grandiosity I believe that my perspective is the only right one, that my way of doing things is the one true way, and that I know what’s best in all situations.
Strangely enough, this perspective doesn’t usually arise from bad intentions. It usually grows out of the normal human need to feel important. We don’t know a single human being who doesn’t want to feel valuable.
But unchecked, this desire to feel important can belittle those the leader ought to be listening to and supporting, even if the leader seems to be solving problems.
The more we demonstrate our capacity to solve problems, the more we take them off of the shoulders of others, the more authority we gain in their eyes. Sounds appealing, right?
Only until that train leads right down the track to grandiosity; until “I want to help” becomes “I have all the answers”.
How does this fit with conflict? It’s simple. If I operate from the assumption that I have all of the right answers then I can’t navigate conflict with you. I can only win or lose.
Much better to assume that both myself and those I am engaged with are good-hearted and competent, at least until definitively proven otherwise.
And to assume that I might be wrong.
That’s the opposite of grandiosity.