The Adam complex - what is it?

The Adam complex - what is it?

The Adam complex is an inclination that manifests itself in the inexperienced or overly proud leader. In many cases this situation creates great difficulties for the guided people.

The Adam complex - what is it?

Last update: 09 September, 2021

The Adam complex is a colloquial way of defining a particular arrogant attitude. This definition is used mainly in relation to organizations and occurs when an official or manager disqualifies anything that was done before his arrival.

Its objective purpose is to inaugurate a new reality. In other words, those who have the Adam complex feel like the founders of a new world.

Those who suffer from the Adam complex start from the idea that everything that has been done up to that point is invalid. These people believe that there is nothing positive in the work done before their arrival.

They want to "clean up" and start all over from scratch. In the vast majority of cases, this attitude has negative consequences. Because? Let's go find out!

“Great works present problems and require time, effort and milestones to be achieved. Finding solutions isn't as simple as blowing on a hot glass and making a bottle. Every effort is a contribution, only rude vanity and ingratitude ignore the work of others ”.

-Luis Alfonso Cabrera-

The Adam complex

The Adam complex is typical of arrogant people who feel as if they have arrived first on Earth because they do not recognize the validity of what has been done until they arrive.

For this reason, they decide to make "structural changes" and opt for a "total redesign". They base their decisions on mistakes that have been made in the past.

This occurs in those job positions that have a lot of responsibilities. However, it can also happen in all kinds of situations or activities.

Generally, people who have the Adam complex are individuals with no experience, but with good knowledge. Usually, they embrace the most innovative theories or the new trends of the moment.

In principle, this attitude is a clear sign of immaturity. Likewise, reveals a strong desire to appear and be a determining figure in the history of an organization, a city, a country, etc.

This attitude is found relatively frequently in politicians elected for the first time or who are nominated for an important position.

Recognize the Adam complex

In principle, a person with the Adam complex can be perceived as someone with great leadership skills, great ideas and great vitality.

It is obvious that all the previous management made mistakes that need to be corrected. What these people do is emphasize these mistakes and from here they go to support their proposals for radical change.

It is very important to differentiate this attitude from that of a leader who takes charge of an organization or institution in structural crisis. In the latter case, it is very likely that profound changes will be required to resolve the present problems.

Whoever has the Adam complex has the intention of changing a situation which, while presenting errors, is not in a critical situation.

Likewise, those who have this attitude usually exhibit certain patterns of behavior:

  • They focus change on their individual action. They give little or no consideration to the opinions and suggestions of others.
  • They have a hard time listening. These types of people are more focused on promoting their own ideas than listening to those of others.
  • They try to persuade rather than present evidence. They don't dwell so much on the evidence that supports the validity of their proposals, but on a discourse that promotes their ideas.

Why is this complex negative?

Why can a leader with innovative ideas and a desire to change everything for the better be bad? Often, great changes are the result of joint work and not an individual's decision.

If there is a real need to restructure everything, there is nothing better than hearing the views and experiences of everyone involved in the change.

Also, you have to start by weighing the positive and negative aspects of what already exists. Everything can work better, but in some cases only a few adjustments are needed and not a total change. The desire to change everything immediately can lead to strong instability within an organization.

Likewise, it is advisable to take into account resistance to change and the processes that allow you to create a new structure. In most cases it is recommended that the changes take place gradually.

Often the difficult thing is to precisely identify the priority points on which to intervene. Major renovations are only necessary if there is an obvious crisis.

When motivated only by the Adam complex, they tend to cause disagreements, malfunctions and, many times, failures.

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