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The danger of being pigheaded

Doing your own thing without regard to others can be ruinous in three areas: policy, process and people.

2 min read




Being stubborn is part of being human.

This quality comes from the notion that an executive knows better than anyone how to run the business. He hews to his path even when it comes into conflict with reality. Such behavior is not ideology per se; it is egotism or, in plain language, pigheadedness.

Doing your own thing without regard to others can be ruinous in three areas: policy, process and people. Let’s take them one at a time.

  1. Policy is a catchall term that comes down to the phrase “the way we do things around here.” You could refer to it as culture but, in reality, it is less specific. Such norms and behaviors bind people together, but executives who put themselves first look at such things as policy as things to be ignored rather than obeyed.
  2. Process is the set of rules and procedures by which managers keep things running smoothly. While some processes are onerous, they very often exist for reasons of compliance with regulations rooted in fiscal, security and safety objectives.
  3. People refers to employees. Egotism can be ruinous when an executive develops an opinion of a subordinate that is totally subjective. The executive perceives the subordinate as an underachiever and, as a result, the individual is banished to oblivion.

Unless an executive is willing to let go of being pigheaded, only more trouble will occur.

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2018, Trust Across America honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Trust. Also in 2018, named Baldoni a Top 100 Leadership Speaker. Global Gurus ranked him No. 22 on its list of top 30 global experts, a list he has been on since 2007. In 2014, named Baldoni to its list of top 50 leadership experts. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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