How Great Leaders Control Their Ego

Everybody has an ego, and a healthy ego is necessary for success in leadership or any field. You need to have faith in yourself and your abilities, and when you’re trying to achieve something difficult, it serves you well to have that voice in your head saying “You’re the one who can make this happen.”

But left unchecked, an ego can be a destructive force. It may keep you from admitting you don’t know something you need to learn, or persuade you not to consider the areas you need to improve upon. Sometimes it takes the form of the fear of looking foolish, which can keep you from speaking up or taking a chance on an opportunity.

Knowing how to manage your ego is important. Here are some of the approaches top leaders use:

They acknowledge and respect their ego. Great leaders understand that the first step in managing their ego is to acknowledge it and respect it. They never try to disingenuously pretend that it doesn’t exist. They respect their ego enough to understand how it serves them, even if it means having to face harsh realities about themselves.

They don’t compare themselves to others. The best leaders understand that big egos come with big expectations, and they resist the constant temptation to measure themselves against others. They compare themselves only to their own ideals and aspirations as they decide what’s most important and focus on getting there.

They never stop learning. The smartest person in the room isn’t the one whose ego is telling them they’re the smartest. It’s the one who knows how much they still have to learn.

They serve a higher purpose. Top leaders know that the best way to control their ego and keep perspective is to remember that the world does not revolve around them. Holding to an attitude of service, in leadership and in life, breaks the pressure we put on ourselves, giving us room to move from self-importance to a sense of genuine purpose. The highest level of achievement is based on passion and service, not hitting a target for personal accomplishment. Living life beyond ourselves in service of others doesn’t just keep our egos in line—it creates more adventure, fulfillment and meaning.

Great leaders understand that controlling their ego is a personal challenge that is critical to success, and it’s something they have to do themselves, every day. It’s the only way to build respect and trust with others.

Lead from within: A big ego can create huge achievement but it can result in huge destruction too. Controlling its power is a skill well worth mastering.



#1 N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now


Additional Reading you might enjoy:


Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

No comments.

Leave a Reply