Ego reflects our self-worth, which provides us with our personal sense of who we are. By balancing self-importance, confidence, and compassion, we can achieve internal and external satisfaction. However, it takes immense strength to draw a stark line between humility and arrogance in relation to our ego. Humility fosters leadership, so serving others can help us achieve a self-controlled ego in the corporate world.
Integrity, empowerment, and charisma are the qualities which distinguish a balanced character and an excellent leader. Integrity requires us to find ways to give credit where credit is due. An unchecked ego hoards accomplishments and ignores the team behind them. Humility and honesty are essential to effective leadership and leashing ego. Leaders acknowledge their mistakes and do what is objectively right, no matter the circumstances. Compassion breeds integrity, so it is important to remind ourselves that we are all human. Our peers’ successes, failures, troubles, and triumphs are as profound as our own.
Empowering employees to work autonomously, and allowing them to make decisions within the company, is an underrated tactic for leaders. Inspiring employees requires the strength to realize we are all teammates on the same playing field. In contrast, an unchecked ego tells us we are better than those around us, which can trigger bullying and cause employees to belittle others in the workplace. Leaders have faith in their ability to train and develop their employees while recognizing their own imperfections. Guiding autonomous employees requires granting them an abundance of trust. “When employees are empowered, they are more likely to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and the customer as well. This is true, even if it means allowing workers to go a bit off script.” Allowing employees to introduce new ways of meeting goals or completing projects is an extremely valuable tool. A leader with an unrestrained ego will become controlling and perhaps even demeaning.
Personal doubt occasionally gets the best of all of us, leaving residual feelings of fear that we cannot handle what is expected of us. If unchecked, our egos can reveal this weakness and create a destructive environment. Leaders have the strength to acknowledge, convey and overcome feelings of self-doubt through personal charisma. The best leaders are well-spoken, approachable, and friendly… [and] people at all levels of an organization find it easy to relate to them and follow their lead. Charisma is the pinnacle of effective leadership. Without displaying internal strength, relating to others, and becoming a welcoming presence, leaders create a disconnect with their employees. A toxic ego will cause alienation, preventing employees from respecting their leaders and establishing secure relationships in the workplace.
Ego cannot be removed or silenced because it is an inherent part of who we are. And we should not want to eliminate our egos, for they can be used to drive us forward and achieve things we never thought possible. But an ego that is left unchecked to rule without humility or compassion will cause a leader to act irrationally and destructively. Do not allow your ego to generate excessive pride and prevent you from learning from your peers and underlings. The key to becoming a great leader is cultivating a healthy relationship with your ego. Doing so will enable leaders to grow with their community and to bring integrity, empowerment, and charisma to the workplace.