Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How Your Big Ego Can Actually Help Your Coworkers by Gwen Moran

Gwen recently wrote an interesting article in Fast Company defending the poor ego. Although many people think I demonize the ego in favor of more emotionally intelligent behaviors, I do agree that having a healthy ego is critical to executive success.

From the book, Ego vs EQ:

"When properly balanced with EQ, ego can be an important pillar to success (in the form of self-confidence, assuredness, conviction, clear decision making, and more)."

Although I would have probably titled the article "How Your Healthy Ego Can Actually Help Your Coworkers" I do like how Gwen supports the value of ego in executive leadership.

Read her complete article here:



Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Trouble with Control

Here is an excerpt from an article published in Great Leadership by Dan:

I write about the damage done when, as leaders, we don’t fully allow employees to have control over their tasks, projects or budgets. Everyone I know says they hate being micromanaged, and we certainly don’t want to list “control freak” as a skill to be endorsed for on our LinkedIn profile page. Yet, there are signs of low trust/high control managers everywhere. But no one will admit to being one of them.  

And it’s not just the nemesis of new, inexperience managers who are nervous and learning to use their delegation skills. It plagues leaders from the top to the bottom of an organization: new leaders, old leaders, promoted from within, hired from the outside. And the list of reasons to stay involved in the nitty gritty details goes something like this:

·       “I am not telling them how to do it, just what they need to do.”

·       “It’s faster for me to do it myself.”

·       “I’m role modeling how to do it so they know what to do next time.”

·       “The stakes are too high for this to fail, I need to be involved to protect my team.”

·       “I am not above doing the dirty work alongside you. I am just being a servant leader.”

Many of these leaders are well intentioned, they do just want to help their direct reports or expedite progress toward a goal. But too often, it just gums up the works as things grind to halt waiting for executive review. One common issue is the senior leader who wants to approve every new hire. And we are not talking small companies who hire less than ten people a year. This is practice at many large organizations who have to review thousands of resumes. And really, without interviewing the candidate yourself, or knowing the ins and outs of every job in every department in a large company, do you really think you know who the best candidate for the job will be? C’mon. 

Read the whole article at:


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why Business Leaders Need to Build Greater Self-Awareness by Douglas LaBier

This is an excellent article in Psychology Today written by Dr. LaBier who discusses how important the element of Self-Awareness is for Chief Executives:

"Successful CEO leadership requires astuteness about others: their emotional and strategic personal drivers; their self-interest, overt and covert. These relationship competencies rest on a foundation of self-knowledge, self-awareness. And you can't know the truth about another without knowing it about yourself."

It is vital for all executive leaders to understand their own reactions and responses to information, and how that directly influences the reactions they get in return from followers. They also cannot begin to engage others in the organization's mission, purpose or daily operations without understand their unique motivations and drives. You may be asking, "But how can I know each person's personal drivers if I have 100 or more employees? There is not enough time in a week or even a year." 

Agreed. You have two realistic options: one - focus on your direct reports. You can certainly begin to understand what gets the best out of them, when they seem at their most productive, and the types of recognition and reward they appreciate most. For more information on how to do this, see our article on Motivation Matching. Encourage those direct reports to begin the same process with their direct reports. Ask about it and keep it in the discussion so they are more apt to follow up. Your second option is to survey your employees and ask. Poll them on a variety of motivators and work to the top 3-5 items that emerge. Leverage that information when providing group recognition, incentive programs or company functions. 

Knowing yourself and your workforce's emotional and strategic drivers can be done. And the payoffs can be huge. 


Friday, January 3, 2014

8 Common Ego Traps That Could Be Holding You Back by Vivian Giang

Vivian Giang from Business Insider:

It doesn't matter how smart you are. Having too much ego isn't good for you or anyone around you.
Two in five CEOs fail within their first 18 months of leading an organization, according to a study published in the Harvard Business Review. One-third of chief executives from Fortune 500 companies don't make it past three years.
The most successful leaders are aware that emotional intelligence is required in a business environment.
"No matter how open minded or easy to talk to you may be, having a top executive role requires that you use diligent, mindful effort to stay grounded and in touch with how the decisions you make effect the people on the assembly linemaking widgets for you every day," writes author Jen Shirkani in her book "EGO vs. EQ: How Top Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps with Emotional Intelligence."
Below are eight of the most common ego traps that Shirkani says will destroy any leader's career:

Ego Trap #1: Ignoring feedback you don't like.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/8-common-ego-traps-leadership-jen-shirkani-2013-10#ixzz2ouJccVmY