“I believe that we are at a very low level of consciousness, and we do not know how to treat each other as human beings. We are caught up in our own lives, our own needs, our own ego gratification.” —Madonna
There may be no greater barrier to effective leadership than ego. Left unchecked, your ego will undermine the hard work of everyone around you. It will prevent you from seeing what is right in front of your face and it will stop you from admitting your mistakes. Here are four reasons your ego is a threat to your leadership.
You don’t know everything
You don’t know everything but your ego can lead you to believe that you do. When you think you know everything, you become incapable of admitting you may be mistaken. If you can’t recognize and admit your own mistakes, your ability to lead is at risk.
You are not good at everything
You are not good at everything but your ego won’t let you admit it. When you think you are good at everything, you overlook the idea that there may be a better way to do things. If you can’t consider alternatives, your leadership is at risk.
You are not better than others
You are no better than those around you but your ego wants you to believe that you are. When you think you are better than everyone else, you sit alone in your ivory tower. When you look down at others you lose their trust. Without trust, you cannot lead.
You cannot hear what others are saying
You can’t do it all on your own but your ego can prevent you from even hearing what others have to say. When you are unwilling to listen to others you miss out on their knowledge and experience; you pass up great ideas and lose out on valuable advice. Not listening to what others are saying puts your leadership at risk.
It’s Not about You
Leadership is not about you. It is about the people you lead. Your ego is the biggest threat to your leadership. It wants you to think you know everything. It leads you to believe you are good at everything. Ego tells you that you are better than anyone else. And, it prevents you from hearing what others have to say. This is all the perfect storm for leaving you stranded, standing all alone in your own failure. Get your ego out of the way and make your leadership about those who follow you.
© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com or engagenow.me and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.