Check Your Ego!

We often hear the words “check your ego at the door”.  Originally, I was thinking that this should be the title to this blog post.  But leaders shouldn’t check their egos at the door. They can’t. Instead they should learn how to manage their egos. 

Many people will suggest that an ego can be self-destructive and dangerous.  We don’t have to look too far to see that this can certainly be the case. 

But I think that a strong and healthy ego, that is managed well can be a very important attribute for leaders of any type.  Your ego is your sense of self and without a strong sense of self, a leader will struggle.

So here are my four steps to managing your ego…

  1. Be aware of your ego.  Understand that this is part of your personality and comes part and parcel with who you are.  Once you admit that you have an ego then you can move on to steps 2-4. Otherwise, stop reading this post.

  2. Admit publically that you have an ego. Trying to avoid this is a mistake.  Everyone around you knows it so why hide?  In fact, I will often make fun of my ego in front of others.  This helps me and the people I work with.  My ego can be a problem, but with the help of some of the people around me, I can hopefully keep it in check.

  3. Control your ego. The risk of a strong and healthy ego is that it becomes too strong and unhealthy. A good leader knows his or her limits when it comes to the ego.  If you are so full of yourself that it makes others uncomfortable, then you have a problem.  Learn how to control this important, but dangerous attribute.

  4. Leverage your ego. This is a great quality and a very important one for leadership. Use it.  There is a very important role out there for people who believe in themselves and who are confident in what they do, day in and day out.  

Admittedly, an ego can come with some excess baggage. I read a blog post recently by a guy named Chris Cebollero, where he talks about controlling your ego.  A few of his suggestions hit home with me:

  • overcome the urge to be right every time
  • get over your sense of entitlement

Yes, a strong and healthy ego can be dangerous.  But one that is managed well: recognized, acknowledged, controlled and leveraged can be a good asset to any leader.

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