It’s All About Me

  It’s All About Me - Ego Image

Leaders walk a fine line of humility. We have all known a leader who was self-centered, arrogant, egotistical or the like.

This excessive confidence can manifest itself in mistakes, solo decision-making, failure to see consequences, dysfunctional teams, and superficial relationships.

Leaders constantly must balance the confidence they need to succeed with the danger of an overbearing ego.

In Ego Check—Why Executive Hubris is Wrecking Companies and Careers and How to Avoid the Trap, the author, Matthew Hayward outlines ways to avoid exaggerated self-importance.

  • Consider the consequences of every decision before you move ahead.
  • Be consistent in your behavior and choices.
  • Make sure your decisions are good for the business and yourself.
  • Don’t let your ego keep you from consulting others and heeding cautionary feedback.
  • Get the job done rather than positioning yourself to impress management.
  • Discount plaudits from those who may have ulterior motives for praising you.
  • Share praise with others when you complete a successful program.
  • Recognize team members for their contributions.
  • Don’t embellish; refrain from being self-serving or exaggerating your abilities.
  • Avoid treating compensation as the sole objective. Keep your compensation separate from your sense of pride.
  • Don’t assume you can transfer your proven abilities in one area to another realm.
  • Build relationships with people who are experts in specific areas and recognize them as such.

“The total development of our people is essential to achieving our goal of corporate excellence. Whatever the reasons, we do not pursue emotional development with the same intensity with which we pursue physical and intellectual development. This is all the more unfortunate because full emotional development offers the greatest degree of leverage in attaining our full potential.”

Bill O’Brien, President of Hanover Insurance Co.