A Blessing And A Curse: How Can Leaders Manage Their Egos?

Sally Percy

“An unhealthy ego will impact emotional intelligence and the ability to build meaningful connections,” warns Natalie Boudou, an executive coach, CEO of international consultancy HumanForce and author of HumanForce: The Power of Emotions in a Changing Workplace.

Leaders can manage their egos by paying attention to the triggers that can make them feel defensive or fearful (signs that their egos are getting in the way). “Noticing the emotions that we feel when our egos have been touched can give us the space to choose how we wish to respond rather than react in our usual manner,” Boudou explains.

The term ego is used to refer to a person’s sense of ‘self’. It encompasses their thoughts and feelings, including their self-esteem and sense of self-importance. We all have an ego.

A healthy ego is a good thing because it boosts our self-confidence, pushing us to confront or overcome our fears. People want to follow leaders who have a healthy ego.

On the other hand, having a ‘big’ or ‘inflated’ ego can have a detrimental impact on our decision-making and cause us to become arrogant, boastful and entitled. Leaders with oversized egos can easily alienate the people in their teams and struggle to get the best out of them.

Effective ego management is essential to being a good leader. So, with today being World Ego Day, what should leaders know about managing their own ego?

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Contact Natalie by email - nboudou@human-force.ch