Don’t let arrogance get to your head

By Younas Chaudhary

Several years ago, I wanted to buy a few stripper oil wells near one of my oilfields, which were owned by a major publicly traded oil and gas company. I approached them and asked if they were willing to sell those oil wells.

Younas Chaudhary

I vividly remember the response: “You are not there yet,” implying that my business was so small that it had not reached a stage to engage in a conversation with them.

I remember visiting that company’s plush offices in Houston. Times were good as oil prices were trending upward. Their office had a carpet so thick and fluffy that you would sink into comfort. They were wasting a lot of money when oil prices were high and even the path to their stripper wells was paved and lit, unlike the dirt roads leading to our wells. I had to leave with the response: “You are not there yet.”

A few years later after oil prices dropped, that company filed bankruptcy and was broken down into scraps. I purchased the same wells for pennies on the dollar!

“There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance. It’s called humility.” – Aagam Shah. Do not let arrogance go to your head because it is not going to do anything worthwhile for you.

I came from a humble beginning where I saw so much arrogance growing up. We lived in a feudalistic, caste-based society where the rich landlords often beat up servants and treated them very badly. I never wanted to be like that in my life.

Arrogance is a beast that lives in all of us and sometimes rears its ugly head making us forget humility. It personifies power, privilege and advantage over someone who is not as strong as us. People who are arrogant believe they are better than everyone else.

I have often seen self-exaggeration and grandiose displays by potential investors and financiers who arrogantly flaunt their wealth but in actuality have nothing in hand. There are many who have tried to impress me by showing off their fancy cars, designer clothing, mannerisms and overt confidence.

Most arrogant people are insecure. They are afraid to ask for help because their egos are so bloated that it is shameful for them to do that. In office settings, we often encounter managers who micro-manage, are arrogant, and stifle their employee’s creativity. They have to be at the center of everything, need to show their presence all the time, and often take credit for the work done by others.

In recent days, there is a perfect example of arrogance from one of the richest men on earth. In just a few days after taking over a very prominent company, he fired his top executives, angered advertisers, and now he has threatened bankruptcy. The exodus of senior leadership has left him vulnerable but like any other arrogant person, he is hesitant to accept his mistakes.

Leaders like this display arrogance based on wealth and forget the human factor. At the end of the day, always remember that humility will win over arrogance. So always be humble, kind, and generous. Blessings!


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.

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