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Leadership And Ego

It is fair to say that everybody has an ego. However, a healthy ego is necessary for leadership success. Our ego can be an asset or a liability; we will ultimately make that choice for the road ahead.

Did you know that an unchecked or inflated ego is the enemy of outstanding leadership? An ego-driven leader impacts employees and an organization’s bottom line.

The philosopher Muhammad Iqbal said. “The ultimate aim of the ego is not to see something, but to be something.” The essence of the problem for ego-driven leaders is to be recognized as the person they think they are. We will never be perfect at leadership; however, operating at both ends of the ego scale at any moment is significant in leadership. Outstanding leaders are focused on others and how to support and serve them.

Some have said that our ego is like a target we carry with us, and like any target, the bigger it is, the more vulnerable it is to being hit. Some ego craves positive attention, and so it can make us susceptible to manipulation. It makes us predictable when others know they can play to our ego and narrows our vision.

An ego-driven leader impacts employees and an organization’s bottom line. We lose perspective and end up in a leadership bubble where we only see and hear what we want, losing touch with the people we lead, the culture we are a part of and ultimately, our clients and stakeholders. Most importantly, a leader with an inflated ego might overestimate their abilities while underestimating the skills, efforts and other people required to achieve a goal.

It is an important and challenging job to avoid the leadership bubble and break free from an inflated ego. It can be done and will require selflessness, reflection and courage as a leader.

Here are some tips on how we can avoid being inflated ego leaders:

Acknowledge and respect your ego by truly understanding how it serves you. Don’t disingenuously pretend it doesn’t exist.

Don’t compare yourselves to others, but to your ideals and aspirations because you will decide your most important focus.

We must be lifelong learners and still learn so much more. Don’t let our ego tell us we’re smart enough.

Knowing that the world does not revolve around us is the best way to control our ego. Living a life beyond ourselves in the service of others doesn’t only keep our egos in line; it creates more adventure, fulfillment and meaning. It is a personal challenge that is critical to success.

In conclusion, success is always good; a bigger salary or a nicer office can sometimes make us feel that we have found the eternal answer to being a leader, but that is not the case. Our ego can be an obstacle to good leadership if we lose the fact that it is about people. Great leaders understand that controlling their egos is a personal challenge critical to success. A healthy ego, confidence, and acting decisively because these leaders know what is needed to be influential leaders.


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