Leaders need a certain amount of ego.
As with all things in leadership, balance is the key.
Balancing your ego helps you stay strong and take charge of various situations you will encounter and being able to keep your ego in check will enable you to demonstrate your ability to strongly lead yourself. Only high performing leaders can achieve this vital balance to position themselves to lead strong teams, build strong organizations and achieve sustainable results.
Here are three tactical suggestions to keep your ego checked:
1. Accept Praise, But Stay Real
There’s nothing wrong with you receiving a pat on the back when it’s well deserved. If you are practicing your role well, there should be praise coming your way. Just because you are a leader, you shouldn’t be exempt from things all human being enjoy emotionally. The challenge for you is to accept the praise and the good feeling it brings, while at the same time remembering that you are no better than the next person. Ancient Romans had a practice in which when they welcomed home victorious military leaders, they would put a slave next to him in the victory pride who whispered in his ear “All glory is fleeting, remember you are mortal”. Success is something you must continually earn, even after you have won and receive praise.
2. Have An Inner Circle Who You Can Trust To Be Honest With You
All leaders need it, very few have it. You need a group of 3-5 people around you who can help advise you and give you straight talk. If you can assemble this group, they will provide valuable advice to you and help you keep your humility level where it needs to be. You will have to decide the composition of your inner circle, but it doesn’t have to be totally made up of people on your team. You could have one or two people from your team you highly trust and then a couple people from outside your company as well. The main thing is that they have nothing to lose by being totally honest with you about their viewpoint.
3. Regular Reflection Time
You should spend time regularly gaining perspective on what you are doing. An honest look at where you may have missed the boat on decisions, behaviors, motivations and how you have treated others. This time is vital to help you, as a productive, high performance leader to keep your own ego in check. Do not spend too much time reviewing the negative and don’t beat yourself up too much. You simply need a realistic self assessment of where you may have come up short from where you would have desired to be.