A Big Ego is a Terrible Thing to Waste!


Why can’t people just get along? Human beings seem to want to fight all the time, don’t they? Why is that? What makes people so quick to involve themselves in arguments and disputes? Why do so many people become angry or defensive when someone directs a joke at them or suggests that they might be wrong about something? Why are some people arrogant, loud and obnoxious while others are consistently nice or perennially silent? Will the entire human race ever change to the point that they can all get along unconditionally on a universal level? Probably not…but it is a great goal to shoot for!   Human beings regularly fight, dispute, argue, confront, protest, challenge and defy other people because of EGO. All human beings have an ego of some degree or another. Ego can be defined as one’s relative level of self esteem…it is a person’s idea of his or her own importance or worth. Ego determines how a person will control, plan and conform to the present reality of his or her life. If a person has a big ego, they will often become quite angry if they believe their integrity has been questioned. They will have such a strong sense of themselves that they will believe others should listen to them and unconditionally respond to them in a positive way. Those with less powerful egos when questioned or treated negatively will sometimes feel guilty. They will think that they have said or done something inappropriate. Instead of fighting back, they will withdraw to lick their wounds or feel sorry for themselves. Individuals with very little ego often find it easier to get along with others because they simply draw no assumptions about another’s intentions toward them and they take nothing personally, so find no need to become angry or fight back. 

Leaders must be cautious of stifling ego. Ego is what made human beings the dominant species on earth and what caused them to put men on the moon. Unfortunately, it is also what starts arguments, causes bullying in schoolyards, and creates the conditions necessary for one country to declare war on another. The positive side of ego is what we must nurture and protect. People with strong egos usually have strong ambition and an overwhelming desire to succeed. They also sometimes seem brash, impatient, and in a hurry; caring very little for others. Those are the people that can make or break you. When working with someone who is extremely talented but “full of himself or herself” you must not suppress his or her enthusiasm or hold them back. When a person with a strong ego is stifled they will usually react with negative behavior. They may choose to fight you, making their feelings known, but as often as not, they will simply withdraw and do as little as possible to help you. Instead of being the superior performer they are capable of, their ego will tell them to withhold their talent in order to punish you and prevent you from realizing the success they know they are capable of creating. 

People with strong egos like a pat on the back. They need to be acknowledged for their good work. The feeling of satisfaction they derive from praise is like a drug to them…the more they get…the more they want. The more praise they receive, the more likely it is that they will perform at exponentially higher levels. However, if people with big egos are ignored or criticized for their work, they will no longer derive a sense of satisfaction from their work and performance will probably decrease in quality and quantity.

  

If you find the ego of any of your workers offensive to others to the point that performance and production is suffering, you must deal with them. As many coaches and philosophers have indicated, “There is no ‘I’ in team” and “Stars are just people who play on great teams.” When working with big egos you have to be a coach. You must always explain to a star performer that their results are clearly superior but that they cannot go it alone. They must understand that it is their obligation to assist everyone else on the team to perform at as high a level as they can. You must appeal to their ego by asking for their help and then praising them when their teamwork efforts have realized positive results. They will understand your meaning because a powerful ego is not an obstruction to intelligence. It is merely a different sense of reality that puts one person ahead of another in his or her own mind. If they comply with your wishes and create better results for the entire team, their egos will soar on a blanket of pride and they will want to do even more of it. 

Great leaders do not allow a big ego to stand in the way of success. They take advantage of it by massaging and cultivating it into an indomitable force while allowing it to blend into the fabric of the team. Don’t waste a big ego…put it to work for you!
All the Best!

  

Wayne Kehl 

 

 

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