Ego Management Mistakes That can Hurt your Career
The higher you are up the corporate ladder; the trend is that you become less self-aware and less to practice ego management. It’s quite understandable that you need a strong ego to stay at the top, but you’re only promoting the negative sides of corporate culture when you do as everyone up there does.
Jen Shirakani, author of “Ego vs EQ: How Top Leaders Beat Eight Ego Traps with Emotional Intelligence” book, says that the higher you go, the more you need to practice ego management and let your emotional quotient guide your decisions. Along with driving profits and producing products and services, you must also know how to motivate and inspire your staff. This is something we can get behind and want to share with you.
If you want to stay at the top and have your team want you there at the same time, make sure you avoid the following :
1. Ignoring feedback you don’t like and getting feedback only from colleagues of the same rank. Getting feedback informally over coffee with the other team leads isn’t going to give you any good information for self-examination. Keep in mind that good ego management involves these three things :
2. Thinking technical skills trump leadership skills. We think Shirakani hits the nail on the head when she says that most executives come to their new positions unequipped with the right skills for handling their team. Although they were promoted for their technical performance, they now have administrative and managerial functions that are a lot more important than their previous responsibilities.
3. Discouraging diversity. This isn’t going to help you, your company or your team. From a strategic point of view, being too homogenous is going to leave a lot of weaknesses since everyone shares the same difficulties and strengths. When you have a diverse team, you can think that there is someone on your team who has the skillset and attitude to handle any problem that comes along.
4. Being too controlling. Shirakani clarifies that relinquishing control is a very difficult thing to do, and that it’s all right to take some time to test your team. What you must keep in mind is that you have to eventually create an environment of trust and performance in your team.
5. Giving orders and changes on a whim. Even if we did write this article not to boost anymore egos, it must be said that your decisions and words have the most impact on anyone in the lower ranks of your company. They’ll strive to meet your expectations no matter how difficult and tedious it is because you’re their leader. You have to be aware of how much they value your input. Ego management is also about knowing what your impact is to other people’s actions.
6. Thinking you aren’t being watched every minute of the day wherever you are. We agree with Shirakani completely when she says that leadership behaviour sets the tone of the whole organization. Whether you’re in the office or at another function, your people take their cues from you. Make sure that you factor in good behaviour examples in your ego management.
7. Losing touch with those in the trenches. Although Shirakani and we understand that it’s hard to make time to know about your rank and file or your customer service experience, it should be one of the top facets of your ego management. If you lose sight of your frontline experience, you can be sure that the company will suffer.
8. Relapsing. Ego management is a continuous effort and always cycles back to the self-awareness, empathy and control. You should understand that it’s always going to be a struggle unless you accept that your ego has to be managed.
Essentially, ego management involves avoiding common mistakes and setting an example to establish behavioural standards. If you aren’t willing to accept your deficiencies then you’re going to end up sabotaging your career.