How to Manage Success without It Going to Your Head

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Imagine you’ve accomplished something great – it may be a job promotion, closing that seemingly elusive deal, or winning the improbable election, and now you’re on top of the world. It took blood, sweat, and tears to get where you are. You’ve earned it.

The problem for many people is that when they get to the top of the mountain, they fall off the other side. Why? One word: Pride. They become conceited, thinking their success was all their doing, and they can do no wrong. They start to feel self-important, develop a sense of entitlement, and stop listening to others.

Relationships are broken, teams are destroyed, and organizational potential is capped because of pride. So, how do you handle success and avoid the pitfalls of pride? If you want to learn the answer, I invite you to continue reading…

For every 100 people who can handle adversity, only one can handle success. Why?

The Bible says, “The purity of silver and gold is tested by putting them in the fire; The purity of human hearts is tested by giving them a little fame.” (Proverbs 27.21 – The Message)

Success reveals your character. When you achieve great things, become rich, famous, or powerful, you begin to think that you’re “all that.” You are prone to become vain and scornful as you soak up the glory. But pride comes before a fall.

So, how do you handle success? How do you avoid becoming arrogant and not falling? Here are eight ways to manage fame, prosperity, or victory and self-reflection questions to help evaluate your character…

  1. Acknowledge. Know that God’s the one that’s gifted you and provided the opportunity to do well. Transfer honor to God. Point people to the gift giver, not the gift. Regarding success, do you acknowledge God’s provision privately and publicly?
  2. Humility. Be modest, self-effacing, and unpretentious. Keep quiet about your achievements and allow others to point to you. If your win came at the expense of someone else, be empathetic to their loss or taste of failure. Regarding success, are you keeping your ego in check by not showing off, understating your accomplishments, and continuing listening to others?
  3. Gratitude. Express appreciation to God for your success. Value God and all that he’s has done in your life. Lift a heart full of praise and worship to Him. Regarding success, do you express your gratitude to God?
  4. Respect. Think highly of your family and friends. Treat them well. Be trusting and trustworthy. Don’t forget those closest to you are often the ones who helped you get where you are today. Regarding success, has your respect for those around you grown?
  5. Alert. Be watchful for anything that may blemish your reputation. Stay on your toes, guard your heart, and avoid temptation. Regarding success, are you on the alert for anything that will stain your character and discredit your accomplishments?
  6. Enlarge. Be diligent to improve yourself continuously. Don’t rest on your laurels or become complacent. Look for ways to grow yourself and others. Innovate, take risks, learn something new. Aim for greatness, not mediocrity. Reach your potential. Regarding success, have you stopped learning, become distracted, and settled for being average?
  7. Generosity. Invest your time, talents, and resources to benefit others. Be selfless. Go a step beyond expectations. Regarding success, what steps have you taken to be kind, attentive to others’ needs, and giving?
  8. Accountability. Keep your life on track by putting appropriate public and personal controls in place. Open yourself to at least one person you can trust and allow them to ask tough questions about your secret thought life. Let them probe and be honest with your answers. Check your motive. Without accountability, you may fall into unethical or immoral behaviors and, ultimately, into corruption. With it, you’ll remain in check, maintain your integrity, and continue to build upon your success. Regarding success, do you have someone you meet with regularly, allow them to ask you tough questions, and are honest with yourself?

The Bottom Line – If you transfer the praise of others to God, you’ll remain praiseworthy.

Do you want to discover more about becoming a grounded and inspirational leader? Visit my website,, today!



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Preston Poore

I'm an award-winning Fortune 500 executive with over 30 years of experience, including tenures at The Coca-Cola Company, The Hershey Company, and Ralston Purina. On top of that, I am a Numerica Corporation co-owner and board of directors member, published author, and a John Maxwell Team certified speaker, trainer, and executive coach.


My learnings and lessons are not drawn from the classroom of academic theory but from the crucible of marketplace trenches. I share my hard-earned experience with audiences to help them, their teams, and organizations become the best version of themselves.

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