Creative Leadership

Warning Signs That You’re Petty and Insecure

Proverbs 18:2 says: “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”  Maybe you know a few people like that. I work in the media business, so I deal with petty and insecure people all the time. What drives me crazy is how they suck the life out of their team. They’re so obsessed with being in charge (and getting credit) even to the point of being willing to drive the organization into the ground.  So if you’re wondering if that might be you – or someone you work with – here’s a handy chart to help you identify the petty and insecure people in your office:

1.  They continually have to remind people that they’re an “experienced professional.”

2.  They embrace every opportunity to take a swipe at other people’s work. Hey – doesn’t it help co-workers to see their flaws exposed mercilessly in public?

3.  They dominate meetings with endless talking about what they’ve seen in their career and what they think about the issue at hand. After all, if they let others talk, it takes the focus off them.

4.  They point out every flaw (no matter how small or insignificant) in other people’s ideas, thinking that helps reinforce their expertise.

5.  Since they’re clueless about how to fix the organization’s really big challenges, they spend everyone’s time working on tiny, insignificant things.  At least it gives the appearance that they’re doing something.

6.  They never, ever, show any grace.  They worry that if they do, it might make others think they’re weak or unsure.

7.  Whenever someone else offers an idea or suggestion, they loudly proclaim they’ve already thought of or tried that before.

8.  They have to keep reminding people what an expert they are.

From all of you who work alongside a petty and insecure person:
Anything I’ve left out?

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

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  1. Anytime the conversation starts with “I’ve been here for “x” number of years”, I know it isn’t going to be collaborative!

  2. Unfortunately I’ve found these traits especially common amongst the Christian male “leadership” community.

    My best bosses have always been atheist women…

  3. When you do decide to bravely choose your battle with them on a topic of conflict (kindly stated, of course), they interrupt before you complete the first sentence with a much raised voice of defense….. a tactic used to help win the perceived power struggle. Finding the resolve to the conflict is not on their radar- only that you understand that you KNOW who they are and who you aren’t.

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