What is pride?

I was thinking about what it is to take pride in something. What makes you proud of your accomplishment, or the work that you have done? What must be true to be proud? After thinking about it for a while, I boiled it down to two truths. To be proud of something, you have to own it and you must have the desire to share. Let’s quickly break that down.

To be proud of something, you have to own it.

You can’t be proud of something that you didn’t help to create. It’s like that person in a group that didn’t do anything, but wants to take credit for the A received on the project. It doesn’t work. Ownership is more than being involved. Being involved can be as simple as participation. Ownership means that you have a vested interest, you have made decisions about, and personality can be seen in what you have created. Ownership means that the end result would have been different if you weren’t there to make it happen.

To be proud of something, you have to want to share.

What makes you want to share what you have done? Pride! So, to be proud of something you must want to share it. Share it with everyone. It’s like the two year old’s newly created piece of art, or the new grandparents newborn picture. If you stand still long enough, they are going to show you because they have uncontrollable desire to share. They are proud.

So, how do you measure pride. Pride’s proof is behavior. If someone is proud of something they work to sustain it and they work to protect it. How do I know this to be true? Think of something that you aren’t proud of. Would you ever publicly take ownership of it? Would you ever want it shared with others? No way.

Also, pride is essential to culture. The culture of a school, a program, or a team. Pride is also an investment of those in that classroom, program, or team. If everyone continues to invest, pride is sustained. But, when those investors start to lose interest, pride turns into embarrassment.

So, make sure you protect the pride shown in your school, program, or team. Invest not only in what you are doing, but those doing the work. Your reward will be awesome!

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