Pride makes you stupid

​“Take pride in your work.”

Dangerous advice.

It’s common to see some formulation of these words included in company value statements and employee handbooks.

Why? Because supposedly, taking pride in your work inspires you to do better work.

I don’t think it does. 

Here’s a definition of pride:

“A high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.”

​The problem with pride is that it gets injured. Very easily. Too easily. A negative comment, an insult, honest feedback. These things are not sought out or welcomed by the prideful individual. Despite being one of the best ways to learn what you need to do to be better, they are avoided.

Pride makes you stupid. 

Perhaps we should be told to care about our work instead. To love our work. Because when we care about something, we emotionally committed to it. We want it to be the best it can be so feedback of all kinds is sought. We will favour honest commentary over insincere praise.

Which means that we will do better and be better.

If you care about what you do, don’t take pride in it.