An ego check is in order if . . .

291 reads

U.S. President Lyndon Johnson was famous for his well-developed ego.  For relaxation, Johnson liked to drive himself around his Texas ranch and vicinity.  One day he was stopped by a Texas patrolman for speeding.  When the patrolman came closer to Johnson's car and saw who was driving, he reportedly exclaimed, "Oh, my God!!"

Looking straight at the patrolman, Johnson replied, "And don't you forget it!"

Unfortunately, many leaders get chapped lips from kissing the mirror too often.  They worship their self-creation too much.

I have a different way of talking about ego in my speeches.  If you think you're indispensable, I tell people, stick your finger in a bowl of water and watch the hole it leaves when you pull it out. 

I'm not saying that all ego is bad.  It isn't.  Everyone should have enough confidence/ego to stand on their own.  It's what defines you and is your spark, your creativity and your individuality.  There's nothing wrong with having drive, passion and excitement.  Those are all good.  But don't confuse ego with arrogance.  Where people get into trouble with ego is when it is misused.

I like to share this reality check with my audiences:  When you put yourself on a pedestal and let your ego get the best of you, just remember that the size of your funeral will depend largely on the weather.

Former pro wrestler turned movie star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, said:  "Check your ego at the door.  The ego can be the great success inhibitor.  It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success."

Think about those words.  Do any of us have too many opportunities or too much success?  No.  Do any of us have too much ego?  Yes.

There are some telltale signs that your ego is out of control.  For example, do you complain frequently?  Do you need to find fault with things both large and small just to get your fingerprints on a project?  That might be a sign you need to take a step back.

If being judgmental is your hallmark, ask yourself why your ideas are superior to everyone else's.  I'm not referring to the everyday assessments that managers and committees need to perform.  But when snarky is the norm, muzzle yourself.  Arguing and fighting with others doesn't usually provide the desired results.  If you have productive suggestions, make them respectfully.

Make every effort not to be a know-it-all.  Because you can't - know it all, that is.  You can know a lot, or be at expert level, or maybe you even "wrote the book" on a topic.  But it's usually more effective to let someone else brag you up.  You achieve better credibility when others toot your horn.

When the shoe is on the other foot, how does your ego show itself? Being defensive when you are criticized is unprofessional and immature. Instead of blaming others, learn to listen and see how much they have to contribute. Give your co-workers or subordinates a chance to shine to prove that your ego is not in the way of success. 

Holding grudges won't get you anywhere either.  If you plan to keep working with the same people, you really have to work at working with them.  Get over yourself!  I can tell you from my own experience - sooner or later - you will need their help.  If you have burned your bridges, your ego will have a pretty tough time trying to swim against the current.

Once you figure out that you may have been wrong or overstepped a boundary, be willing to apologize.  A little humility is always welcome, as long as it's sincere.  Admit your mistakes and offer whatever help or support you can.

  • Let's put this in a nutshell.  If you want to overcome your ego, you need to learn to let go:
  • Let go of being offended at every little thing.
  • Let go of the need to win and be right all the time.
  • Let go of the need to be superior.
  • Let go of identifying yourself by your achievements and reputation.

There are also a few things to keep: 

  • Keep your temper in check.
  • Keep your sense of humor.
  • Keep your tone respectful.
  • Keep your mind and your ears open.

A man once told Buddha, "I want happiness."

Buddha replied:  "First remove 'I'; that's ego.  Then remove 'want'; that's desire.  And now all you're left with is happiness."

Mackay's Moral:  Get over yourself before you trip over yourself.

Trending

199
cryptocurrency's picture

YouToken Disrupts FinTech and Crowdfunding at 2018 Global Blockchain Forum

YouToken (YTN) presented their innovative blockchain-based crowdfunding platform to over 1,400 attendees at the 2018 Global Blockchain Forum in Santa Clara, California.Dozens of promising startups attended the event with YouToken leading the way in
164
Ron Kaufman's picture

The Six Disruptors of Customer Experience

UP! Your Service is a global education and consulting company. We help leaders and companies all over the world achieve two primary outcomes: First, improve your customer’s experience – to help you attract customers, keep customers, generate
283
businessstandard's picture

Programmatic is transparent, but post-delivery: Vertoz CEO Ashish Shah

 Start-ups take faster to programmatic than regular consumer product firms, Ashish Shah tells Vanita Kohli-KhandekarIs programmatic useful from a brand building perspective?If you have to buy space in Business Standard or Times of India for 30
309
davecrenshaw's picture

Why “ASAP” isn’t clear communication—and what to use instead

Recently, I found myself saying the very word I’ve cautioned others against using many times. Here’s what happened. I noticed something was wrong on my website, so I reached out to my project manager, John. John’s a reliable guy and I knew he could
324
vsquare's picture

10 Steps for Business to be successful | Startup Success Formula | Dr Vivek Bindra

From: youtube.com By Dr. Vivek Bindra: Motivational SpeakerRecommended by: vsquare10 steps tor creating a successful business. You can use these steps to be successful. In this video, Dr Vivek Bindra outlines 10 revolutionary steps for business
400
jackcanfield's picture

Activating the Power of the Subconscious Mind

The untapped power of the subconscious mind can lead you to new success in your personal life and business life. Discovering how to turn your thoughts into positive and implementing the law of attraction into your daily life can take you to new
365
pradyumnanag's picture

How is it cheaper for Google to buy Groupon than internally build something like it?

 May be covered in some answers already by some fantastic answers.Just elucidating instead of replying on each of the posts. Though I may have my own personal reservations on the business model per se, they have been able to achieve something
342
changethis's picture

Willpower Is an Outdated Model of Success: Here’s the Future of Self-improvement

“It’s no wonder willpower has been placed under the media spotlight as essential to success. In a negative environment, willpower’s all we have left. It’s the life-raft, the backup parachute. And we’re depending on it to save our skins. It takes a
332
harvardbusinessreview's picture

How to Use Employee Referrals Without Giving Up Workplace Diversity

Incentivize employees to refer more women and people of color.