6 Reasons Egotistical Leaders are Exhausted
Egotistical leadership is exhausting. But there’s a reservoir of energy for leaders who practice humility.
Humility is expansive and vibrant. Ego is restrictive and grim.
6 reasons egotistical leaders are exhausted:
#1. Ego has all the answers.
No one can bear the burden of having all the answers.
The next time you see an angry exhausted leader, ask yourself if she/he is a know-it-all.
Tip: Seek counsel from people who know more than you.
Advice-seekers renew their vitality.
#2. Ego carries the load by itself.
One reason you’re drained is you can’t let go of anything. Humility trusts.
Trust is a source of vitality for humble leaders because it welcomes help.
Ego makes all the decisions.
Tip: Seek help.
#3. Ego fears being wrong.
You might be arrogant if you’re constantly defending your position.
You end up defending bad decisions when you need to be right.
Tip: Give yourself permission to be a learner. Let others be right.
#4. Ego prevents you from learning from highly skilled people.
Ego runs to fools for advice because it can’t stand the success of the skillful.
The success of others feels like a threat to ego. You can’t seek advice from someone you envy.
Ego won’t seek advice from anyone that’s more successful than itself.
Tip: Seek advice from someone who has achieved what you aspire to achieve.
#5. Ego feels unappreciated.
You might be arrogant if you feel that others don’t appreciate you like you deserve.
It’s draining to constantly nitpick others and expect them to revere you.
Tip: Go on a gratitude walkabout.
#6. Ego hoards power and control.
Ego is exhausted because the people it disempowers don’t excel.
It’s exhausting to circle the wagons at every perceived threat of losing power.
Learn that giving away power actually increases your power.
Tip: Delegate decision-making to competent others.
What practices of humility increase a leaders vitality?
What egotistical practices drain leaders of their energy?
The Paradoxical Power of Humility (Psychology Today)
Ego is the Enemy of Good Leadership (HBR)
10 Practices of Humility for Egotistical Leaders (Leadership Freak)
Active learning from those that you lead will show the team that you recognize their knowledge and/or expertise. This also frees your ego of “knowing it all.”
Being the only voice in the room feeds an ego which is draining for everyone involved – seek to listen, learn and lead (3Ls) from a team-informed position.
Thanks Kishla. Yes, you make me think of the first function of leadership from Kouzes and Posner: Model the Way.
Best for your studies.
These statements of ego in action ring true;
But what the those people who thrive (actually gain energy) from these behaviours,
Who actually suck the energy from those that resist?
They seem far more the rule than the exception, IMHE.
Thanks Rurbane. I think in the short-term egotistical actions DO energize. But in the long-term it’s an inevitable drain. There are negative consequences to foolish choices.
I’ve found that the sociopathic are truly inexhaustable; the ones that fight fire with fire are the ones that burn out.
Overall, I agree. Although, I know a sociopath who was so stressed she started losing her hair. On the other hand, her energy to backstab seemed to never run dry.
When you’re humble you are open to feedback, open to learning, willing to change direction if appropriate.
But having a strong ego is also important. You must be self-aware with strong beliefs and values if you’re going to lead others.
Thanks Paul. Your observation re: the necessity of ego is important. Perhaps we need a better word to capture your idea. But I’ve written about this idea… “Egoless Leadership is a Myth”
I worked for someone who used to say “If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.” I sometimes (well, okay, more than sometimes) need to remind myself that it is time to find another room,
Thanks Jennifer. It’s not always easy to let others be smart. Congratulations.