It is a sad fact of modern life that the word ‘Ego’ is beginning to take on a negative connotation. People with big ego’s are considered somehow bad and those with absent ego’s as good. Of the various dictionaries I use, I think the Collins says it best “Ego: a person’s opinion of his or her own worth”. If we accept this definition then the word ego is linked with the word pride.
Whether we like to admit to it or not, our sense of self worth is very important. Without it we lose confidence and motivation. Any leader without a big ego is unlikely to lead for long. The question to keep in check is, “is it too big”? But before attempting to answer this question a secondary question is needed; “too big for what”? In situations where self confidence and pride are an absolute necessity it is almost impossible for any ego to be too big. The very nature of the self belief expression ‘I can do this’ is built solely upon oneself, i.e. ‘ego’.
However, in a counseling group or at home on the weekend with the family, the career ego needs to remain in check. This can be difficult as it requires the balancing of three different elements; adaptability, emotional intelligence and confidence. For this reason it can be very useful to have one’s place of work a short car journey or (better still) walk from one’s home. If the journey is long enough to tie up the loose ends of the working day and to re-focus on the needs and pleasures of our loved ones, then the distance is just right. Very few people can switch from work to home between the garage and the kitchen. For those working from home a dog can come in handy here; a short walk every morning and evening is good for both hound and master.
So my advice is; worry if your ego is too small rather than too big. Worry, if you do not feel proud of your achievements and of who you are. Worry, if you do not make the time to turn negative feelings into positive plans for reconciliation and improvement.
Have a good week,