I'm sure all of us are familiar with the phrase "Pride comes before the fall." Interestingly enough, this common saying may hold some significant weight according to an article from The Speculator
entitled: "On Wall Street, Pride Signals a Fall."
In this article, pride is referred to a hubris
which is defined as: "Presumption, originally toward the gods; pride, excessive self-confidence."
Looking at the world of business, we can see how hubris affects success. When businesses are doing well, their leaders often start to develop hubristic views. The hubris feeling often leads to boasting and a sense of feeling "above the world." This overconfidence and pride is often followed by a drop in business.
To test this, The Speculator writers looked at magazine covers featuring CEO's and company leaders. Data showed that companies appearing on covers like Forbes and Time started doing worse after the issue was published. If we look at this, it seems to make sense. Someone who agrees to be on the cover of a prestigious magazine most likely thinks highly of themselves and their company. They are full of hubris, and that triggers their decline. The article then goes on to show similar results with companies who purchase stadiums and who start to take over other corporations.
This sense of hubris ties in directly with tragedy. If we consider Oedipus
' play, we are shown a clear example of hubris. Oedipus is a powerful king and the savior of his people. He sees himself as a lofty individual, and in his efforts to prove his nobility, he uncovers the secret incest that brings shame upon him. Likewise, his brother-in-law/ uncle Kreon
is also full of hubris in Antigone
. He is very proud and eager to show his power by punishing Antigone for her crimes. In the end, his confident ways lead to the suicides of both his son and wife.
Hubris has left its mark upon once-successful individuals. Its distinct ability to cause destruction is a good indicator to us all that we need to eat our daily helping of humble pie.