5 Ways to Have Enough Ego to Make a Difference

The issue isn’t if  you have ego, it’s how much.

You need enough ego to believe you can make a difference, but not so much that you believe you can do it on your own.

Self-centered – egotistical leaders – live in a shrinking universe. They’re confused about themselves and can’t appreciate others.

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7 signs you’re an egotistical leader:

Ego relies on authority and force rather than influence to lead.

  1. Most people irritate you.
  2. Others are self-centered, but you aren’t.
  3. Every conversation is a competition.
  4. Serving is an inconvenience.
  5. You make excuses for using people.
  6. Their weaknesses are a catastrophe; yours are minor inconveniences. 
  7. An apology hasn’t passed your lips since you were caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Self-centeredness pollutes every aspect of servant leadership.

Five ways to have enough ego:

#1. Say things that hurt but help.

Self-centered leaders avoid tough issues because it makes them uncomfortable. Ego waits for anger to say tough things.

Be kind and address awkward issues at the same time.

#2. Help others clarify and pursue their aspirations.

It takes real confidence to stop asking, “What about me?” and start asking, “What about them?”

Humility serves others. Ego serves itself.

#3. Invite others to speak.

Try asking:

  1. What do you think we should do?
  2. What are your challenges?
  3. When are you most energized?

Tip: Invite teammates to speak for themselves in meetings. Don’t speak for them.

#4. Say, “Thank you,” everywhere you go.

#5. Practice mutual accountability:

One-way accountability is from superior to inferior. Be as accountable to others as you expect them to be to you.

Ego says, “I’m the answer.” Servant leaders say, “We’re the answer.” 

How might leaders have enough ego to make a difference?

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