It’s a story we all know well, somebody you know reaches the position they’ve been striving for throughout their entire career and suddenly your once humble colleague becomes an arrogant manager. Often people in this predicament become increasingly isolated; only interacting with people they deem loyal to them and refusing to switch courses even if the circumstances demand it. Suddenly your once successful friend is now seemingly shooting themselves in the foot. So how do you as a manager prevent yourself from undergoing this negative transformation?
First and foremost forget about loyalty, it’s unlikely people are conspiring against you, instead focus on intelligence and capability. Surround yourself with people who are extremely competent at doing their jobs. These are the people who will be able to humble you when need be. They’ll be able to discern poor ideas from promising ones, and you’ll feel confident in trusting their opinions.
Piggybacking off of that idea, it is important that you encourage people to express dissenting opinions, don’t allow the politicians in the office to woo you with their empty praises. One way to promote honesty amongst your employees is to reward those who challenge your views. Offer raises and promotions to those who are willing to go up against you for the betterment of the company not those who blindly follow your lead.
In addition to encouraging others to comment on your work, it is important that you notice and acknowledge your mistakes. Let your office know when a company shortcoming is a result of one of your misguided attempts. Chances are they probably already know and will be less likely to hold it against you if you publicly acknowledge that you were wrong. Additionally they may have ideas as to how you can correct and prevent such mistakes.
It is crucial that you treat everybody you work with, especially those who work for you, with respect and appreciation. It’ll keep you humble, allow you to maintain a positive reputation and allow you to construct positive relationships throughout your company.
Lastly, ask those who you don’t work with but who know you extremely well, friends and family most likely, to let you know if they detect signs of arrogance or egotistical behavior. These people will be the first to notice a change in your behavior and will be the most comfortable providing you with a much needed reality check.