Ego trip: a journey to nowhere.
– Robert Half
In the leadership world there are leaders with confidence and then there are leaders with big egos. An ego is a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. They believe that the world owes them, that they are the most important person in the room, that they have the right to determine another person’s self-worth and that they are allowed to be rude to their team members whenever they want.
In my opinion, having an ego is dangerous and damaging to any self-respected leader. Egos blind you to what’s really in front of you and causes you to lose perspective. You are forever lost in an ego bubble of your own making. You can spot people with huge egos when they step foot in any room. They always need to be right and everyone else is wrong, they interrupt people, they don’t listen, they claim credit for what other people do, they believe that they are ‘top dog’ and no one else deserves to be in the same room as them.
So how does having an ego help leaders to inspire confidence and motivate their team? It doesn’t. No one wants to work under a leader that is full to the brim of their own self-importance and other bullshit. In the post pandemic world, no one will have the patience to put up with a leader or boss with a huge ego. Once upon a time, people would have put up with it. But now I can tell you, if you have a giant ego, you won’t have staff for much longer. If you have a huge ego, you may blame the staff for leaving, but it’s your own doing.
I believe that many leaders have developed their egos because they are insecure and lack confidence in their own skills and abilities. Therefore, they start blaming others for their own incompetence, instead of seeking help or advice. They fight these feelings of insecurity by over-compensating with actions, including dominating others, making decisions without listening, tell off members of their team for something that was the leaders’ fault and taking credit for what others have done. Anyone remember the movie Shrek? Do you think Lord Farquaad was overcompensating for something with that big castle because of his giant ego?
1. Emotional Intelligence
Leave the ego at the door. Build your self-awareness and EQ. This is critical. Be aware of your energy and actions and how they impact others. Become a great listener and have the courage not always be right! Read books on tips to help your EQ and leadership grow, take online leadership courses can help your EQ, be more reflective and self-aware and work life and hire team members who aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves.
2. Have humility and empathy
When you’re a big boss or leader, it can be easy to let success go to your head. But you need to appeal to the human within yourself and stay grounded. You can do that by having empathy and being kind to those around you. Talk to your employees and remember that they have issues and challenges, just like you do, theirs might be different to yours. However, they are still human too, just like you. Never forget your roots or where you have come from and what you did to get to where you are today.
3. Keep your ego in check
Easier said than done right? No, your duty as a leader is to lead by example. So, stop right now with those toxic behaviours of not listening to your staff, being rude to them, making them feel like they don’t matter, expecting them to cater to your every whim, read your mind and letting them work in a toxic environment. Say thank you every once in a while, have patience, communicate or even offer a kind word.
4. Never be afraid to keep learning
The world is changing every day and we can’t be left behind in the past. We need to always be looking to the future and embrace the changes that come with it. As a leader you don’t have to have all the answers, remember to stop listen and learn something new every day. You never know, the new things you learn now might set your business up for success later. A growth mindset is pivotal for success!
Do you have a problem ego? How are you trying to counter it?
By Sonia McDonald – CEO Of LeadershipHQ And McDonald Inc. Leadership Coach, Global Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, CEO And Award Winning Author.
Sonia McDonald is changing the face of leadership across the globe. She believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, and is known for her mantra ‘Just Lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her transformational coaching, leadership training programs and cultural transformation for organisations and encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped thousands of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
Sonia is a founder and CEO of McDonald Inc., LeadershipHQ and Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and 2022 Courage Conference. For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of leadership and she is beyond committed to her mission around building a world of great leaders.
She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader. She has been recognised by Richtopia as One of the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is a leading coach, an award-winning published author of newly released First Comes Courage, Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and has become an in-demand keynote speaker on leadership, kindness and courage.
Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, kindness, empathy and courage as well as building outstanding leadership across the Globe.