Check Your Ego at the Door

Ego has no place in an office. Modern day businesses have all sorts of politics, posturing, sabre rattling, and chest thumping. While seen as a necessity for gaining power, it is hugely detrimental to the goals of any organization.

Come from sales, I have seen some of the most absurd egotistical plays you can imagine. Several years ago I was working for a competitive technology company in a business development role with several other sales people. Egos ran wild. People were always orchestrating ways to make themselves look better to management. The group, which would never be confused with a team, began sabotaging each other in an effort to gain favor with a new executive. It was during our annual strategy session where every sales person presents an overview of their plan for the year, when things can to a head. One salesperson was presenting their plan for the upcoming year when another, more aggressive salesperson began interrogating the presenter. “What’s their OpEx number this year?” “How much have they budgeted for new technology purchases?” “Have you spoken with their VP of technology yet?”

While all these are valid questions, they only reason they were brought forward during this meeting was to inflate the ego of the person asking them. This wasn’t a discussion about how they could better serve the client, this was an attack on the abilities of the person responsible for the account for the only purpose of making them look ineffective. Luckily, the senior VP in the room had seen this sort of arrogance before and was able to quash it. However, the damage was done. This group would never be a team. They would only ever amount to a group of individuals with similar, but not common, goals. Countless hours were spent on egotistical efforts that could have been spent on collaborating and moving everyone’s goals forward. Instead it amounted to mediocre results from egocentric people.

Ego limits your success. No matter how hard you work, you will never be respected or appreciated as an egotistical person.

Any organization that is focused on creating the most successful environment knows that egos need to be checked at the door. No single person is as strong or productive as a great team. If you want to go quickly you can go by yourself, but if you want to truly make huge strides and go further, it takes a team.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of your success. Check it at the door.

 

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