How Does EGO Edge Greatness Out

Posted on 15. Jul, 2014 by in Character, Integrity, Lead From Within, Leadership, Leadership Development, Life Skills, Personal Development, Purpose, Trust, Workplace

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 9.18.40 PMHow many times have you heard it said of someone talented that they could really go places if they could learn not to let their ego get in the way?

You might be nodding and thinking Yes, I know that person. Or maybe Yes, I am that person.

How can you tell if ego is leading the way?

If you are constantly defensive.
If you are always looking for approval.
If you always have to be right.
If you are constantly comparing yourself to others.
If you have to be one up on people.
If you have to be the center of attention.

When you allow ego to lead the way, you are Edging Out Greatness.

Ego is not about power—it’s about being powerless.

Ego is fear.
Ego is insecurity.
Ego is hurt.

Ego is the mask we wear to cover it all up.

The ego is not the enemy to be subdued but a compilation of unexamined habits that keep us from greatness.

So how do we focus on greatness and make it more and more the heart of our leadership?

Manage self-talk. If our inner critical voice has kept us safe for many years as our inner authority, we may end up doubting the real voice of who we’re really meant to be. Don’t let the self-chatter of fear and doubt get in the way. Great leaders pay attention to the things they tell themselves.

Celebrate talent. Knowing how talented we are is good; celebrating others is better. Great leaders do not aspire to reach their own greatness by keeping others down. They realize the more they surround themselves with talent and strong people, the more successful everyone will be.

Stop perfectionism. The belief that perfect is good and imperfect is bad is misguided. Trying to be perfect keeps us from being our best self. Great leaders know that the best lessons always happen in imperfect moments. Let them happen.

Admit mistakes. To distinguish ourselves from others we need to be on the right side of mistakes. When we mask our mistakes, when we think we have to be right, we are masking our insecurities. When we admit our mistakes and amend them, we allow others to see us for who we are. Great leaders lead with authenticity and learn from mistakes.

Demonstrate empathy. Empathy is a powerful thing—simply listening and withholding judgment. It’s about making a connection. When we demonstrate empathy toward ourselves, we learn how to be empathetic towards others.

Practice humility. Check yourself—not everything is about you. True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. Remember, leadership is about serving others instead of being served.

Stop the comparisons. Stop constantly assessing and comparing yourself to others.Great leaders know that who they are is good enough—that they are great just as they are.

The greater the leader, the greater the doubt—perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize. Let the admission of your realities not change how brave you are, but reinforce how great you can be.

Lead From Within: Living our greatness is at the core of who we are, the center of our meaningful experience. When we lead with ego it can either be about edging greatness out or expanding greatness outwardly. We know what matters, but we have to choose what matters more.

Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and customized leadership programs Connect with Lolly Daskal

© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.

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29 Responses to “How Does EGO Edge Greatness Out”

  1. Monica Coronel

    15. Jul, 2014

    Ego- Edge God Out. As a student of life I share my ideas without trying or pretending to teach anything. When we operate from the ego mind or fear we can’t help but to be critic, selfish, demanding, extremely sensitive to comments or behaviors, etc. When we consciously choose to operate or live our lives from love then we connect with our greatness and we see the world with love, peace, joy. It is our choice and our decision to train our mind and not let ego control our existence and decide what experience we have in life. Choose: love or fear

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      15. Jul, 2014

      You are right Monica it is our choice, life is always in our choosing. Thanks for your lovely comment. Appreciate you.

      Reply to this comment
      • Monica Coronel

        15. Jul, 2014

        Have you found a way to really create awareness of how our mind controls and influences our life? When I talk about it everybody nods but I don’t know if everybody really gets to see how our mind influences everything. I think people takes it intellectually but can’t really, really understand it.
        Hope you share your thoughts. Thanks

        Reply to this comment
  2. LaRae Quy

    15. Jul, 2014

    Great reminders, Lolly, that ego can derail us so quickly if we’re not aware of how it’s working in our life.

    This is a fantastic sentence: “Ego is not about power—it’s about being powerless.”

    Isn’t that really what drives our ego…the worry that we have no power and have no value.

    Great post!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      15. Jul, 2014

      Thanks LaRae for stopping by. Ego in bits and pieces is okay but the EGO that edges greatness out- is about being powerless.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Dawood Chishti

    15. Jul, 2014

    Discord ego and get refurbished your actions. A notable way lead.
    A remarkable article!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Paul Sohn

    16. Jul, 2014

    Just the post I needed to read today Lolly!

    Haha, I also love how you said it best ego will “edge greatness out.”

    I agree with your assessment when ego leads the way:

    “If you are constantly defensive.
    If you are always looking for approval.
    If you always have to be right.
    If you are constantly comparing yourself to others.
    If you have to be one up on people.
    If you have to be the center of attention.”

    The question is, where did this all come from?

    As a believer, I personally believe it comes from our sinful nature, but besides from that one of the biggest factors that impacts your personality and character is “parenting.” Though I’m still single, I can attest to the wonderful parenting I’ve brought up under my parents. I believe leadership really starts at the home, and it’ll have a ripple effect across our entire lives.

    Paul// Leadership Blogger, http://www.paulsohn.org

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      18. Jul, 2014

      I like this: “I believe leadership really starts at the home, and it’ll have a ripple effect across our entire lives.”

      Thanks Paul for stopping by and lending us your wisdom. Appreciate you.

      Reply to this comment
  5. ATIG

    16. Jul, 2014

    Personally, I believe that the business environment play liabilities control to admit mistakes.
    I thought it was an excellent article and I compliment YOU.

    Reply to this comment
  6. “The ego is not the enemy to be subdued but a compilation of unexamined habits that keep us from greatness.”

    It is time to examine these habits, habits can be changed! Thanks for continuing to write about what is unspoken in business.
    Cindy Tomcak/Advisor to the Mortgage Industry

    Reply to this comment
  7. Ajay Kumar Gupta

    18. Jul, 2014

    Dear Lolly,
    An insightful post.
    Ego is the sign of weakness and incompetence. It sprout when people develop resistance to accept what they have and who they are.
    Incompetence can lead to ego when people are not ready to accept their weaknesses. People stop willing to learn new knowledge and unlearn old knowledge. They continue to believe and justify their knowledge. They try to make their knowledge as a ‘yardstick’ and argue in all aspects to prove that others are wrong. By doing so, they feel happy and safe.
    People with ego create space between management and employees. They plays their tactics in the space created. Ego continues to keep greatness out as long as people have inertia. The moment they start challenging inertia, they start learning new things. They start overcoming their ego.
    The fact is that, ego originates from ignorance. People do not know who they are. They feel what they are not. I appreciate your point that people with ego wear masks. Unless they uncover their mask, it is difficult to achieve greatness.

    Reply to this comment
  8. You stated, “The ego is not the enemy to be subdued but a compilation of unexamined habits that keep us from greatness.”

    Habits can be changed, but first we have to be willing to observe them. Thanks for continuing to write about the unspoken.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Neeraj

    18. Jul, 2014

    Amazing Article Lolly……..Loved it :)

    Reply to this comment
  10. Laurie

    18. Jul, 2014

    Lolly – you have a talent for presenting ideas that are often somewhat obscure, in a simple and comprehensible way. This sentence is has lots of wisdom in it … “The ego is not the enemy to be subdued but a compilation of unexamined habits that keep us from greatness.”

    In light of that thought, curiosity would be a good practice to add to your list – being wildly fascinated with what’s happening or unfolding – as a way of staying open.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! Always appreciated.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Jay

    18. Jul, 2014

    It’s ironic to be reading this since I sent a snide email to a coworker recently because he set me back 2 days. I could have just left the diminunative remarks out but deliberately left them in. Everything you say here is 100% true and correct.

    One thing you didn’t really indicate is how to dissolve the fruitioning of ego. That is, in my example, I was angry about the delay and wanted to show I was correct too (ego). How does one just “turn off the switch?” so to speak.

    Finally, I really like this quote, “Remember, leadership is about serving others instead of being served.”
    - Very true.

    Reply to this comment
  12. Yawar

    19. Jul, 2014

    Thanks for sharing Lolly.A very nice comment here by LaRae ” ” that ego can derail us so quickly if we’re not aware of how it’s working in our life.”This is so true !

    Reply to this comment
  13. I’ve always found that ego is good for a couple of things. When i feel it rise, It calls me attention to myself and i know to step back. And in whatever direction it tries to direct me, i know i must persevere and follow my heart instead.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Jo Miller, GPC

    19. Jul, 2014

    Lolly, In my most recent ‘growth spurt’ I have found that I am more aware of my ego and it is easier, but not easy, to manage the emotions and habits that inevitably crop up when my ego starts to lead. I don’t banish my ‘ego’ – I do hear it and own it as my own issue(s) – for all the reasons that you mentioned – ego is fear, hurt and insecurity -it is our discomfort with our vulnerability. When the ego pops up and begins to take control — I treat it as a hurt child. I embrace it, comfort it and find ways to refocus attention. I love what you said – it truly resonates with me and my journey – “The ego is not the enemy to be subdued but a compilation of unexamined habits that keep us from greatness.” Thank you for creating spaces and places for us to examine our habits, our leadership and to ‘know what matters – so we can choose what matters more.’

    Reply to this comment
  15. Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be
    returning to read more, thanks for the information!

    Reply to this comment
  16. Glen C. Harnish IV

    31. Jul, 2014

    Great blog. Inspiring and succinct- really like the emphasis on integrity, character, and flexible mind states. I believe there is a typo on the “Admit mistakes” paragraph. “When weadmit YOUR mistakes….” should it be “our?”
    Thanks,
    Glen

    Reply to this comment
  17. Helen

    25. Aug, 2014

    Thank you! Great post, things that I need to remember:)

    Reply to this comment

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