It’s not always noticeable by you. We all have blind spots. No matter how hard we try, there is no way to see everything about ourselves. Sometimes we can slowly drift into behaviors and habits which are not noticeable by our own awareness. This is why good feedback is so important. While we don’t always like to hear the truth about ourselves, when we learn to hear it and appreciate it, it can propel us forward to increasing success. The worst thing that can happen is when our ego becomes so controlling, we cut off valuable sources of feedback that can break through our blind spots and help us be more effective.
Less collaboration, more independent action. One signal of a higher ego-driven leadership style is we stop collaborating on decision making. We stop asking for input and more information from the middle and front lines. Simply, we start acting on our own, like the Lone Ranger, as if everything totally depends on us and it becomes less about our people and more and more about ourselves.
Team members always agree. When was the last time you got any pushback? When people stop questioning your thoughts and ideas, you have successfully killed the teamwork spirit of your group. On the other hand, you have successfully created a non-creative, who-cares environment. When you have a culture where all your people can do is nod affirmatively, you have set your organization up for an integrated decline in team spirit and negative result outcomes.
Customer interaction is low. Many times when leaders become ego-centric, they separate themselves from customers of the organization. That becomes somebody else’s job, because after all, you are too busy with the high-level work you are doing. The is nothing more important than spending time collaborating with customers and employees. Sitting in your office in the ivory tower not engaging with people who use your products and services will not serve as a great model for those who are watching you or whom you are leading.
You are looking for the who. When your leadership starts becoming more ego-centric, you started pinpointing people to blame, rather than problems to solve. You are looking for who did something wrong, rather than what went wrong. You start putting pressure on people in the guise of stronger accountability, rather than improving metrics, standards and systems.
These are a few of my ideas about leaders who fail into the ego-driven trap, what thoughts do you have?