Leadership Lessons from Parables – The Pharisee

3 of 5 in the series

The Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector: Luke 18:9-14

  1. The Pharisee is proud and prays publicly about himself.
  2. The tax collector is aware of his sin and stays in the background and prays, quietly confessing his sin.
  3. The contrast of opposites points out that the proud are humbled and the humble are exalted.

We can only control ourselves and our own thoughts. Only we can do it. It’s time to focus on the one person in the world that we can do something about.


Leaders can become like the Pharisee with an attitude that creates problems, rather than solutions.

Here are some areas to be aware of so that this slanting of attitude does not compromise your ability to lead effectively:

  • Overconfidence: The Pharisee was so sure of his life, that he became arrogant, not considering the fact that the arrogance itself became the problem that blinded his self-awareness.
  • Secrecy: The Pharisee was anything but secretive you say…it might be that he was so aggressive that his behavior covered up his secrets, or so he thought.
  • Vagueness: Aggressive behavior sometimes is as vague as it seems specific. Concentration on key messages that are broad and general keeps others on guard and apprehensive about asking for clarity.
  • Autocracy: The leader must make all the decisions – that’s just the way it is.
  • Opinionated: The leader must show strength with compelling statements based on opinion, and not on fact.

Effective leadership begins with a look in the mirror.  Transformational Leaders begin the transformation with themselves first. Transformational Leadership is modeling the behavior you want to see in the leaders on the team.

What is your biggest struggle with attitude?


Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2012 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.


Hugh Ballou (Author)