Many think being a leader makes them feel like an absolute rockstar. Special treatment (the corner office, a flexible schedule, maybe even a limo to take you wherever you need to go), fame, respect, and adoration, and the power to influence many… can be exciting. But, unfortunately, for many, it breeds a humongous ego.
The Dangers of an Inflated Ego in Leadership
While a small amount of ego can be healthy and give you the confidence to strive to do your best, if it gets out of control, the following can occur:
Confirmation Bias: You only see what will confirm your existing beliefs and filter out anything that could potentially contradict them.
Inappropriate Behavior: When we believe we are the end-all-be-all, we tend to engage in unacceptable behaviors like crossing boundary lines and taking advantage of the people around us. Or, you are rude, nasty, and unpleasant to work for.
Ignore Criticism: An inflated ego believes that no one has the right or the knowledge to give constructive criticism. If you don’t consider feedback, you’re unable to grow.+
I think people, especially young people, should know that ego can be just as dangerous as any drug.– Stevie Nicks
The Benefits of Keeping Your Ego in Check
The Beatles was technically not John Lennon’s first band. He started as the front man of The Quarrymen (which would later evolve into the Beatles). When Paul McCartney entered the picture, Lennon knew that McCartney would improve the band significantly and give them the opportunity and real success.
However, if he accepted McCartney into the band, he would no longer be the star of the show. Thankfully for the world, John Lennon opted for what was best for the team, even if it meant taking a hit to his ego.
Great leaders keep their egos under control and:
Do what’s right for the group rather than what’s best for themselves.
Dole out praise amongst the team. Success is not only the leaders but belongs to everyone involved. On the other hand, a good leader doesn’t point fingers when something goes wrong. They take responsibility and make it better.
Hire quality people who speak up with ideas and opinions (even when they contradict yours).
Treat others equally and fairly. You may have the big office and the reserved parking spot, but every one of your employees is a valuable asset. They are just as important to make your band rock.
Great leaders who inspire rockstar results in themselves, and their employees are humble. Ego will only get you so far, and when it comes to being a great leader, the less ego, the better.
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