In Defense Of The Ego

You’ve surely heard it before – keep your ego in check. You don’t want to be the overbearing boss. And there’s merit to that notion. Who hasn’t dealt with the overachieving colleague who is constantly pushing their way as the only way? It’s not a lot of fun and can lead to all too much friction.

But as in so many things, moderation here is the key. Sure, too much ego is a problem. But how about too little? Have you ever sat in on a meeting or planning session with a good idea that you were too timid to share and then been forced to go along with a plan you knew wasn’t as good as it could be?  Similar situations have happened to smart people all over the world. And that’s a shame, because we could use their ideas.

There are other benefits as well. Having a bit of an ego – enough to feel confident in yourself and your skills – can help you to set the tone around you and inspire leadership. It can also help you recover better from setbacks. And it can give you that last push into taking on a challenge that less confident people might avoid. You don’t think Steve Jobs or Henry Ford were timid, do you?

So don’t be afraid to be confident. Identify your strengths and recognize your ability to utilize them to get things done, and act accordingly. If you’re worried about your ego getting to your head (which is a legitimate concern), then surround yourself with friends and colleagues whose opinions you respect and listen if they start to tell you that you’re going too far.

Just make sure they have enough ego of their own to make the case.