Arrogance sank the Titanic

"Captain, Titanic – Westbound steamers report icebergs and field ice in 42 degrees North from 49 degrees to 51 degrees West, April 12. Compliments, Barr."

The message was delivered to Captain Smith on the RMS Titanic who made no alteration to his course. When a second warning came in, the captain brought it with him to lunch, eventually handing it to Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line. Ismay kept it in his pocket for five and a half hours before posting it on the ship's bridge.

A sixth message on the subject that day, came from The Mesaba, which warned that The Titanic was heading straight for a vast belt of ice, stretching some 78 miles across her path.

In the wire room at 11pm, Jack Phillips was so fed up with warnings that his response to the California's announcement was that "We are stopped and surrounded by ice." and "Shut up, shut up. You’re jamming my signal. I’m busy."

Forty minutes later, the 'unsinkable' Titanic had hit an iceberg. Two hours and 15 minutes later she slipped beneath the icy waters to make her 4km to the bottom of the ocean, taking 1,500 souls with her.

Arrogance happens when, in the presence of warnings and the absence of evidence you believe you know better. Arrogance sank the Titanic.


Arrogance causes you to:

  • Stop asking
  • Stop listening
  • Stop learning

Salespeople are arrogant. Great salespeople are aware of their arrogance and manage it well.


Rooting out Arrogance

  • Believe that you are second best. You will not come across as arrogant and you’ll try harder.
  • Remind yourself that being smart and intelligent is not an achievement. You did nothing to deserve it.
  • Be thankful for what you have, every day.

Arrogance sank the Titanic. Don’t let it sink your sales career.


Copyright 2015 Sandler Training and Insight Sales Consulting Inc. All rights reserved.

John Glennon is the owner of Insight Sales Consulting Inc, the authorized Sandler Training Licensee for the Interior of British Columbia. He can be reached at [email protected], toll free at 1-866-645-2047 or visit www.glennon.sandler.com

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About the Author

John Glennon is an authorized licensee of Sandler TrainingSM in the Interior of British Columbia.

John is an accomplished sales person and manager with over 17 years sales and sales management experience. Beginning in sales in 1990 as a sales representative, he progressed to territory manager, sales manager, division manager and national sales and marketing manager roles throughout his career.

In 1997, John became a student of the Sandler Selling System. This introduction changed his sales career and over time propelled John and his career to new heights.

Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, John knows firsthand the value of a sales training approach that follows a learning philosophy of ongoing reinforcement. He is experienced in driving the behaviours, attitudes and techniques required of an effective sales team.

Sandler Training is offered on a regular basis from their Kelowna, BC training center and through innovative distance learning programs to the rest of the BC Interior.


[email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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