When a leader rises through the corporate ranks, writes Rasmus Hougaard in the Harvard Business Review, there is one particular obstacle always lurking around the corner—ego.
- Ego has the potential to overcome even the best leader if he doesn’t actively take steps to keep it in check, co-writes the CEO of the Potential Project along with his colleague Jacqueline Carter.
- Executives receive special treatment and perks as part of their job, making it easier for them to feel like they are above their employees.
- If a leader’s ego grows too large, he risks losing touch with his employees and clients and becoming an ineffective leader.
- Founder of leadership development firm Potential Project, Rasmus Hougaard offers some simple steps to follow to keep ego in check and remain an effective leader.
Why it’s important
Being a leader can come with a lot of perks. Some of these, like a private office, may enable a leader to more effectively do his job without constant distractions. Other perks like a reserved parking spot are nice, but intended to boost the ego.
Consider whether or not these perks are something that help develop better leadership skills or whether they are contributing to an over-inflated ego.
Sometimes well-meaning leaders end up surrounded by “yes men,” people who say whatever the boss wants to hear. Work on cultivating a group of people who aren’t afraid to speak up and say what’s on their minds. A little opposition can be beneficial when looking for the best solutions to problems.
Leaders must also remember the value of gratitude. It’s hard to have an inflated ego when taking time to stop and be grateful. Hougaard suggests taking time every day to reflect and be grateful for those who have helped make the day a success.
By remembering that the day’s successes weren’t created by one person, an ego can better be held in check.