“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
The mark of a highly effective executive leader is one who inspires others to innovate, to dream, and to accomplish more than thought possible. As the leader, you are responsible for fostering a team culture that embodies trust and encourages risk-taking.
However, there is one factor that can cause you to fail to become a highly effective executive leader: your ego.
In one regard, your ego determines your self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem, and, in that sense, is extremely important to your leadership.
One the other hand, your ego can increase your perception of your own self-importance. When this occurs, your ego can be detrimental to your success as a leader.
The responsibility you feel for the achievements of your team can boost your ego to take over and impede your team’s true potential. While your ego is essential to garner the confidence to effectively lead your team, there are inherent dangers to allowing your ego to take control.
To harness your ego to ensure the success of your executive team, you must let go of:
Feelings of Superiority Is Not A Sign of an Effective Executive Leader
An egotistical leader feels superior. The ideas, methods, and strategies—in the mind of the egotistical leader—are much better than those of any other individual on the team, and it is obvious to everyone on the team. This stifles others’ creativity and willingness to take risks, and, ultimately, leads to poor team culture and hinders team success.
Instead, use your confidence and experience to connect your team by building trust, fostering a culture of openness, and generate meaningful work relationships. This creates a safe place to take risks, make mistakes, learn from them, and paves the way to a stellar team culture.
Feeling Threatened by Challenges
Egotistical leaders tend to only hear what they want to hear. They are resistant to challenges and perceived criticisms. In line with their feelings of superiority, they also believe their way is the only way, and are resistant to the ideas of others who offer strategies that challenge the status quo.
Rather than being resistant to challenges, encourage the input of new ideas. Lead your executive team by fostering a culture with open communication in a team that brainstorms, problem-solves, and forges new paths together.
Relying on Your Past Achievements
Egotistical leaders think past achievements will carry them to accomplishments in the future. They are stuck in the path relying on old ways, and unwilling to try new ways of doing things.
In order to be an effective leader in this ever-evolving business world, you must be open to the ideas and experiences of those on your team. In fact, you must build your team with individuals who come with a wide range of experiences that will add to the overall success of your team. Your team must look to you as a guide, but know you support their approaches to tackling various tasks.
The ego of an effective leader is used to create a culture of openness and true teamwork rather than squashing the creativity of each individual on the team. A highly effective executive leader facilitates a team that challenges the status quo and seeks to forge new paths.