Ego knowingly whispers, “You are the center of the universe.”
6 Symptoms of egotistical leadership:
#1. Ego thinks “I” and “me”. Self-importance struggles to see life through the lens of others.
Ego asks, “How does this impact me?” Humility says, “How does this impact our team?”
#2. Ego can’t be wrong. Rather than explore ideas, egotistical leaders defend their own agenda.
The need to be right tends to make you wrong.
#3. Ego dismisses criticism and correction.
- “You don’t understand.”
- “You don’t see the big picture.”
- “You don’t appreciate the pressure I’m under.”
Ego takes offense. Humility explores correction.
#4. Ego seldom says, “Thank you.” Arrogance gives itself too much credit and gives others too little recognition.
Ego celebrates self. Humility honors others.
#5. Ego points the blame-finger when bad news lands on its desk.
When things go right, ego says, “I”. When things go wrong, ego says, “You”.
#6. Ego listens with a personal agenda. The ego-lens:
- What’s in it for me?
- How does this make me look?
- How can I use this for my advantage?
- Who can I blame?
Ego can’t truly listen.
10 practices of humility:
- Think, “You”. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
- Explore dis-confirming feedback.
- Write a thank you note to someone who contributed to your success.
- Recall someone who gave you a second chance.
- List three positive qualities of each team member in the meeting.
- Walk around looking for things to celebrate.
- Relax and ask questions when others talk.
- Monitor your use of “I” and “me”. Shift to “we” when appropriate.
- Say to yourself, “What if they’re right?”
- Focus on strengthening relationships, not just results.
Think of humility as a practice.
Tip: Resist the urge to think of others when reading this post.
Bonus 3:55 video: The World’s Top Leaders Practice Selfless Leadership
What does ego look like to you?
Which of the 10 practices of humility might you implement today?