We once had a client – who created and for decades headed a successful multi-billion dollar global corporation – who was fond of saying, “Never let your ego get in the way of a good decision.”
It’s great advice. And advice that Maine Governor Paul LePage would have been wise to take.
Or perhaps we should say FORMER Maine Governor Paul LePage, as published reports today indicate he is considering resigning.
Is anyone surprised?
LePage’s vile and ill-tempered voicemail he left for a political rival last week went viral pretty quickly, as should be expected. We’re not going to repeat his obscene remarks, but suffice today they were about as bad as any we’ve ever heard from the holder of a major elected office. And then, of course, he followed up on them by professing a desire to challenge that same rival to a duel.
The manner in which LePage let his pride get in the way is as severe and inappropriate as any in memory. And once he made this baffling error in judgment he made it worse by doubling down, letting that same misguided pride and ego stand between him and simple common sense. The idiom “pride goeth before the fall” (written in varying forms) dates back to the Biblical Book of Proverbs, but it stands as true today as it did thousands of years ago.
When people in the public spotlight let pride get in the way of doing what’s right, or even doing what is sensible, bad things can happen. And when they compound it, well, the fall is soon to follow.
Maybe Governor LePage will resign soon as a result, maybe he won’t. But even if he remains, the chances of this haunting him for the rest of his career are excellent.
Which really should not be surprising. It’s what can happen when everything else – good judgment, civility, decency – takes a backseat to personal pride and ego.