Being humble (checking your ego) – Leadership by Example

Balance your ego/confidence with humility, realize you are not always right, listen

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

Confidence is important for success. But we are full of errors. There are at least 191 cognitive biases that we can all fall for. Everyone one of us makes bad decisions or has had experience that taught us the wrong lesson. For example, leaders who have become successful because they are decisive, without good advisers, they can become judgmental.

Thinking is difficult; Thats why most people judge.

— Carl Jung

Too much confidence may stop others from sharing vital information with you, because you are unapproachable, or they may feel you know everything.  Too much confidence can also kill creativity, from others.

“Judgment hinders imagination.”
― Roger Fisher, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In

Be humble. Being humble doesn’t mean that you never stand up for your own opinions or principles. Rather, it means recognizing that you don’t know everything and that you’re willing to learn from others.

It also means being willing to say some difficult words when needed: I’m sorry OR I was wrong. And mean it.

Questions on Ego:

  1. When are you an arsehole? e.g. hungry, lack of sleep, ill, new baby, overwhelmed, implementing policy that you do not agree with?
  2. What are your buttons, when pushed you find it hard to control your emotions?
  3. Who do you trust, to give you good advice?
  4. Who will tell you like it is?
  5. Who tells you when you got it wrong to your face? How do you react?
  6. How do you explain your opinions?
  7. Do you think your opinions matter more than other peoples?
  8. Who calls you out when you are wrong?

“Do you know how you can tell when someone is truly humble?  I believe there’s one simple test: because they consistently observe and listen, the humble improve.  They don’t assume, ‘I know the way.’”

Ryan Holiday – Ego is the Enemy

Resources for Ego:

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