In a perfect world everyone serves from a heart of love. But, I see ego-centric motivations in my heart. What about you?
Egoless leadership is, at best, an aspiration.
You know you’re an ego-driven leader if:
- The time it takes to create alignment is burdensome and frustrating. People should just do what you say and like it.
- Self-interest drives you to shade the truth and agree when you don’t.
- You feel disregard for the little people. The people who matter are the ones who elevate your status.
- Nagging perceptions that you are smarter, better, and more deserving.
- Your way is the best way. Belief that you know best silences input from teams.
- Perks motivate you. You can’t wait to get your name on a parking space.
- Underlings are kept out of the process and in the dark. They don’t need to know.
Leaders lose when they use and abuse.
Egoless leadership, in my experience, is a myth.
There’s hope if signs of ego become cues to act otherwise.
7 ways to act otherwise:
- Say, “I could be wrong,” out loud and in public.
- Define success in terms of service. Turn toward others when ego drives you to serve yourself.
- Shift from frustration to openness with people.
- Practice speaking truth to power. You may need to start slow if self-protective speech is your pattern.
- Correct and confront for the benefit of others, not because it makes your life easier.
- Find a loyal friend and start talking about the issue of ego. But, remember it’s difficult to see yourself. If you think you don’t have ego issues, you do.
- Do something for someone who can’t pay you back.
Ego serves leaders well when self-interest drives service.
How are you spotting and dealing with ego-driven leadership?