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I hate arrogance

TUMIE MODISE
If there is one thing I hate, it is arrogance. I loathe it; I cannot stand pompous, self-centred, egocentric, bigoted and arrogant people. My pastor remarked the other day that sometimes I come across as overbearing, almost aggressive in my writings.

He is correct; it is this verse in the Bible that says that we should call sin by its name. That verse is always on my mind, I blame it. My nature is such that if I feel strongly about something, I should not beat about the bush and call a spade a big spoon.  As I child I was always reprimanded for this. A humble leader is one that is secure enough to recognise his or her weaknesses and to seek the input and talents of others. By being receptive to outside ideas and assistance, creative leaders open up new avenues for the people they lead. It is as simple as that.

We now find ourselves in an era where people who at times get into positions of power and authority often by sheer luck and not on merit, become arrogant, even long before they display framed pictures of their pets in their new offices. I cannot fathom this, I just can’t. We have situations where leaders behave as if sunflowers grow out of the ears; as if they walk on gold pavements while the rest of us walk the semi-dusty streets of Gaborone.

When are these people paving all streets in Gaborone anyway? Car shocks don’t come cheap.

Leaders in organisations, churches, in societies and even at Sunday soccer teams sometimes just lose their minds when they suddenly find themselves in this position.

They become big-headed and before you know it, you cannot recognise them anymore. I attended one funeral a few months back. One preacher at that funeral, oh what arrogance! The amount of arrogance he displayed that day, I was just glad I was not a member of his church.

To cut the story short, and because death is always a sensitive issue, there was nothing Godly about his sermon which went on and on. Hell rejoiced that day. In his book, The One Minute Manager, Ken Blanchard states that “People with humility do not think less of themselves; they just think about themselves less.” We move through the world with a paradigm in which we place ourselves in the centre. We try and create an environment in which we can flourish and succeed. The problem with this model

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is that we have a tendency to become overly focused on ourselves while forgetting the needs of others around us.

This can lead us into different levels of selfishness and isolation. Admittedly, we live in a ‘dog-eat-dog’ world where putting others first isn’t anyone’s priority anymore. Your background does not matter. From a very early age, we are taught to compete and be the best we can be.

Often times, what we’re not taught is to be thoughtful along the way and not neglect and crush others. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a situation where those who are able to dominate over others are glorified and as we grow, we try to emulate this Big five animal behaviour and since this attitude is woven into the very fabric of our society, when it comes to personal success, the trait of humility is almost all but forgotten. nThe worst culprits are often political leaders. This disease of arrogance is very prevalent among this lot.

My favourite pastime is politics and soccer. With soccer though, I only enjoy watching from the comfort of my lounge, but with politics, for a few years now, I have been interacting with people on the political ‘ground’, in the trenches as they prefer to call it. Politics always reminds me of the novel; ‘No Honour Among Thieves’. Over the 10 or so years of my activism, I have come to learn that very few politicians will be saved, and this is no exaggeration. Humility is just one trait they missed at their orientation. Humble people are shunned. It is the arrogant ones that are more revered and enjoy a big following. Just my humble observation.

Leaders in organisations too, are just like that, often arrogant to the core. There’s a difference between being a humble leader and being wishy-washy or overly solicitous of others’ opinions. While humble leaders seek input from others to ensure they have all the facts and are making decisions that are in the best interest of the team, this lot think they have all the answers.  As I learnt over the years, humility takes one a very long way, if not, it is always a matter of time before life humbles you.



Tumy on Monday

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