Ego: The Enemy Of Good Leadership


Chris Pearse, Former Contributor

I Write About The Realities And Challenges Of Leadership.

The company is falling apart and its survival is in the balance. It has:

Investment, Technology, Markets, Expertise, Experience, Prospects, Good People…


Basically everything it needs to succeed. And yet it may not. Why?

The reason is quite simply ego. The shareholders, chairman and chief exec are all at war with each other. They have seen eye-to-eye on much, but disagree on some important issues and cannot – will not – find any accommodation, compromise, or entertain a meeting of minds. The deafening mantra behind all their communication is:


And when your identity is invested in knowing what

you are talking about – being successful, being the expert and being right – when that is challenged it generates an existential crisis. Your very being is threatened. So you fight and you fight for your life to protect the priceless, sacred ideas that you hold about yourself. It’s a nasty business.

Dan Miller, Career Coach and Author of 48Day To The Work You Love

The good news is that none of it is real. All of this is ego – just an accretion of vapid thoughts and feelings that we have about ourselves. It has no substance and no actual reality. But it can cause havoc in our relationships in direct proportion to the degree to which we identify with it. It is, without doubt, the biggest barrier that any of us have to fulfilling our true potential.

The irony is that in protecting itself, the ego destroys communication, relationships and even businesses – and for what? The privilege of being seen to be right.

Have You Visited Red Bicycle Coffee in Smyrna?

Fortunately in the real-life example above, the egos arehigh-profile – easy to spot and not difficult to manipulate (unless you have a big ego yourself). Some others are more difficult to see as they can appear utterly reasonable and in tune with our own ego.

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