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Eliminating Arrogance

by Jim Stovall


I believe the least attractive human trait may well be arrogance. Arrogance harms us in several ways. It annoys people around us to an extent that they may not want to be involved with us either personally or professionally. This can cost us both relationally and financially. From an internal perspective, arrogant people often believe they already know everything and feel that they are performing at the highest level. This eliminates any possibility of growth or improvement. Everything that can make us better people in the future begins with an open mind and a teachable heart. These traits cannot exist where there is arrogance.


Recently in my hometown, a man was put on trial for attempting to kill a process server who was simply doing his job in trying to deliver a legal notice. The man on trial had already posted several times on his social media that he had intentions of killing a process server. Fortunately, his lack of skill with his weapon resulted in the process server being injured but not killed.

During the trial, the shooter was arrogant and showed no respect for the court or remorse toward the victim. During the closing statements, the prosecutor called on the jury to “put a dent in this man’s arrogance.” Hopefully, you and I don’t have to go through a near-fatal shooting to put a dent in our arrogance.


I’ve often repeated a statement attributed to Gandhi, “Everyone is my superior in that I can learn something from them.” Living out those words should keep us all from being arrogant toward people around us. All of us are beginners as well as elite performers. It simply depends upon the task we are undertaking at the moment.

Recently, we opened The Stovall Center for Entrepreneurship at Oral Roberts University. This has put me in contact with many students from all around the world and a number of professors. These professors are cutting edge, leading experts within their fields of expertise, but once they step outside of that field, they are simply average people living in the normal world. In fact, many people who are extremely knowledgeable or accomplished in one area are deficient and ignorant in areas outside of their expertise.


Often, excellence in one area comes from focus and diligence that takes time, effort, and energy away from everyday pursuits. Therefore, someone who might be able to explain Einstein’s theory of relativity may not be able to balance their checkbook. Regardless of who you are or where you’re trying to go in the world, arrogance is a liability and humility is an asset.

As you go through your day today, practice humility and avoid arrogance.

Today’s the day!

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