February 26

3 Ways To Make Sure Ego Does Not Become Lethal To Your Followers

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In the pivotal book, Belief, Attitudes, Intentions and Behavior by Fishbein & Ajzen, the authors reveal how your self-perception and subsequent attitudes can either make or break your positive outcomes (Behaviors) when interacting with others. Leaders are especially vulnerable to the potential negative temptations of balancing self-perception with behavior toward followers who may not be performing at their best.
For example, a leader who feels the pressure to react from others within the organization may respond harshly to the employee who is performing poorly for fear of being seen as soft in their leadership. Conversely, a leader who is slow to hold anyone accountable may not want to be perceived as too harsh or mean-spirited by their peers. Regardless of which camp the leader may fall into, how they react is tied to their belief system, self-perception (or ego) which leads to their leadership implementation. Let’s take look at 3 reasons why ego and leadership are a lethal combination when incorrectly balanced in delivery.

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What History Tells Us

History tells us that leaders who lead with ego can have devastating consequences on their followers. For that reason let’s take a look at a clear definition of ego. Merriam Webster defines ego as the part of the mind that mediates between the conscious and unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and personal identity.

Now, based on that definition alone we can tell why the weight of leadership would be heavy for anyone! If your ego is the only thing guiding you, then rational thought concerning positive outcomes for everyone may not be the order of the day. Hence, why the balance of ego and leadership is so vitally important for followers, peers and all involved. 

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Finding Leadership Balance

So, how do we balance ego and leadership? Let me share three things you can implement immediately.

(a) Make the commitment to do the work and discover your authentic-self or the person who shows up when no one else is around. In other words, keep it real with yourself about your beliefs, attitude, intentions and subsequent behavior. The more that you do the work, the greater likelihood you will find little chinks in your mental armor that need to be addressed.

(b) No matter how high you go in business, engage mentors and coaches for feedback and clarity for sustainable success. Even when it’s uncomfortable, feedback is a goldmine for your ability to grow and develop.

(c) When necessary slay your ego by taking the one down approach when dealing with others. in other words humble yourself and be ready to listen and learn from others. This will immediately allow you to gain clarity from others as you lead!

Point of Clarity Quote:

Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke

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