Have you ever heard the word hubris? It refers to excessive pride. The kind of pride that can bring you completely undone.
I heard a story about Winston Churchill’s mother when attending a dinner function leading up to a UK federal election. Jennie Jerome had the opportunity to speak with the two foremost candidates for the prime ministership in Benjamin Disraeli and William Gladstone. I am sure both men were eminently qualified, articulate and capable but when asked her impressions, she answered;
“When I left the dining room after sitting next to Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But when I sat next to Disraeli, I left feeling that I was the cleverest woman.”
Hubris sounds like the kind of pride that can stop you listening to others, asking questions, learning from experience or seeing the world with curiosity.
You are at risk of walking into any room with a disproportionate sense of what you bring to the conversation.
And an even higher risk of missing out on the things that truly matter.