Leadership Ego: 3 Ways to Balance It Out

Let’s look at how we can maintain a healthy ego for ourselves.

There are three keys to developing a balanced ego:

  1. Humility
  2. Curiosity
  3. Honesty

Without losing confidence in who we are or lessening the importance of what we’ve achieved, humility creates a desire to reach the next level of performance. It doesn’t lose sight of “me,” but it prevents personal needs and agendas from interfering with open dialogue and intense debate.

Yet I know many who shun the very mention of humility as if it were a disease.  It takes courage to express one’s humbleness. It’s not something alpha males are comfortable with. We’re raised to be conquering heroes, not to be gracious. But a true leader can be humble and heroic.

Humility channels our ambitions into the success of “we,” rather than a selfish and short-lived agenda of “me.” When someone speaks with humility, they are more than willing to discuss opposing ideas. They may be heard to say, “I may be wrong, but here’s what I think.”

When humility creates an open mind, curiosity drives the exploration of ideas. It gives us permission and courage to test what we think, feel and believe to be true, reminding us we don’t know everything.

Honesty is the habitual pursuit of the truth. It’s not that people don’t want the truth, but we often don’t want all of it — particularly the part that’s hard to hear or doesn’t support our agenda.

If openness and progress are the outcomes of humility, and innovation is the aim of curiosity, then honesty is the light that exposes the truths hidden in our habits and comfort zones.

What are you doing to stay in touch with humility? Are you maintaining your curiosity? Are you looking at “both sides” of the truth? Are you questioning and listening to others?

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