Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Blogger Topher said...

One key term he might have mentioned is the Dunning-Kruger effect - simply, people of low competence are likely to overrate their own ability and be insufferably arrogant about it.

A corollary of this is that stupid people tend to dismiss intelligent ideas or intelligent people as not worth their time.

11:47 AM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Larry J said...

Low competence, high arrogance. They’re dangerous. They don’t realize the limits of their ability and don’t have the good sense to ask for a second opinion. They may have been taught they were special early on, even though it should have been obvious that every kid on the team got an award. Hubris often equals being out of touch with reality. And this is often a result of unconditional praise and reinforcement. Kids who don’t have great powers of observation and reason too often believe the message that they’re special, just for existing. Nice for building self esteem, not for building leaders who can deal with challenges of business and anticipate the consequences of bad decisions. They can make a big splash early in their careers but they’ll usually flame out. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen and their unfounded self confidence can propel them far beyond their true abilities. Then, they can take the organization down unless they’re very lucky.

I get the feeling he was looking at a picture of Obama when writing this paragraph. It describes Obama to a "T".

1:53 PM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Kurt said...

I felt the same way you did when I read that paragraph, Larry J.

2:04 PM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

"There are people who say I'm arrogant, but I know better than that." -- Michael Dukakis

"If you can do what you say you can do, it ain't braggin'" -- Author unknown.

4:55 PM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger David Foster said...

One way to create highly arrogant people is to put them in jobs in which they have no real accountability for results. If you put them into seriously accountable jobs (regional sales manager, factory manager, etc) then reality is likely to rub a bit of the arrogance off.

And competence is merely theoretical until it is tested against something real.

6:03 PM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Hodge said...

Thanks, Topher. Great reference. There’s also something similar going on with blind spots in the very bright. I used that article in our newsletter and got a few calls from people who pointed out with a certain amount of humor and glee that I was describing mutual acquaintances, when I could just as well have been describing them. But, the main theme from people who responded was “I thought you were talking about the Obama administration.” Couldn't tell whether they were lumped into the bright/arrogant or dumb/arrogant quadrants.

9:34 AM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

if you can do what you say you can do, it ain`t bragging...


1:12 PM, August 26, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

It describes Obama to a "T".
What makes you think Obama has a 'low level of competence'. He's doing the exact job he is being told to do. Quite brilliantly in fact.

12:51 PM, August 27, 2010  
Blogger Master Doh-San said...

Some years ago, a writer in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel remarked that "when you sacrifice competence for self-esteem, what you're left with is idiots who feel good about themselves". Describes the current administration quite well.

Stupidity by itself is bad enough; stupidity coupled with arrogance is positively lethal.

7:20 PM, August 29, 2010  

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