Steps to Management Success – Step 83: Check Your Ego at the Door

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 2nd, 2010

STEP EIGHTY-THREE

Check Your Ego at the Door

It’s good to be confident in yourself and your abilities. It’s good to have professional pride and to do everything you can to maintain your good reputation, but too many managers and business owners let their egos run roughshod over their employees—and, perhaps even more harmfully, over their own good judgment.

WHAT IT MEANS: An unchecked ego will, sooner or later, be bad for business. It leads to impulsive, ill-considered, and capriciously authoritative decisions (“Do this because I say so!”), and is a poor substitute for objectively considering the facts. More than a few companies’ primary operating principle is to do whatever makes the boss happy, not necessarily what’s best for the business. The two are not always the same. On a personal level, our ego may lead us to suspect that we are right all the time or that we are far more talented than the mere mortals around us or that we are entitled to an endless stream of praise and adoration. When you start acting as if any of these ego-inflated assumptions are correct, problems will ensue. The fact is that everyone else in your business has an ego too—and if you want respect, you have to give respect. Three simple words to always keep in mind: get over yourself!

ACTION PLAN: Honestly review those times in your career when your ego worked to your disadvantage. What might you do differently the next time? Another good question to ask yourself: am I more focused on the work or myself?

EVEN BETTER: Don’t let your ego drive your demeanor or your decision making. Be open to the possibility that other people are worth listening to. Be respectful of other people, and make sure to stroke their egos from time to time as merited. Finally, become more attuned to the ever-present ego currents and undercurrents in your workplace. This is one critical people skill that will be of great benefit to any manager.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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