Posted on April 23rd, 2017
Ego is a nuance of leadership that is rarely discussed, but always has the potential to get in the way of accomplishing meaningful work. As money in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors becomes less available, collaboration is essential to effectively serving those who are in need. The economy and politics are forcing organizations and their leaders to play nice with people they may have previously been seen as a “threat” or a “competitor”). When a person or organization exerts their ego within a collaborative effort, the people participating know it; and it can quickly complicate the decision making process and ultimately prevent accomplishing something that in the long run will serve everyone involved and the public’s best interest. At some point you — yourself – will have to weigh the principles at stake and the impact they will have on you and the organization you represent. Do you collaborate knowing there is an ego-centric motivation? To make that decision, I ask myself this… Will following/collaborating with an egocentrically motivated agenda successfully bring about an outcome that will resolve the social ill/problem? Will my involvement cause me to take action that is unethical or illegal? Will it cause me to appear as though I am involved in unethical or illegal behavior? If the answer is YES, the issue is likely to get resolved; and if the answer is NO, ethical and legal standards will not be manipulated or compromised — nor will it cause me to appear as though I am involved with something unethical or illegal – then I put MY ego aside and do what I can to help makes things happen. As I see it…If someone’s personal agenda is furthered while still making the community a better place that is providing leadership for the sake of social good. I’m happy to be part of that! Don’t confuse ego with confidence. Confidence is an attribute that a leader has to have if others are going to follow.