One moment, you are on top of it all. The next thing you know, both you and your organization are irrelevant. You have become the organizational equivalent of Latin.
You gather your team together in a desperate effort to figure out what happened. One by one, now that they have nothing to lose, they begin to open up. They tell you your own arrogance and overconfidence led the organization to stray from its path. They tell you that, essentially, you are the reason the organization has fallen over the cliff. They tell you how you ignored the warning signs, how you vetoed their decisions and replaced them with your own. They tell you how your charisma blinded the employee population until it was too late.
They go on and on, and you begin to get the message. You are an egomaniac.
The Fact is trust, candour, and alignment are only a pipe dream in many organizations. Far too often a leader, driven by ego, creates a workplace that is dysfunctional, ineffective and, ultimately, heading down a very destructive path.
The Problem is everyone in these types of organizations is a co-conspirator by allowing this type of behaviour to persist. Nobody questions the logic behind bad decisions, nor are they willing to fight for their own point of view.
The Outcome is many organizations are full of thick-walled silos, unhealthy disputes, and bad decisions based predominantly on subjective grounds.
The Solution is to understand that your organization’s egonomics are out of balance.
Egos and your P&L
It’s amazing there’s any room left for ego in the modern workplace. However, according to recent research, there is still plenty to go around.
- Over one third of all failed business decisions are driven by ego.
- Nearly two thirds of executives never explore alternatives, once they make up their mind.
- 81% of managers push their decisions through by persuasion or edict, and not by the value of their idea.
Ego. It’s there – in fact, it’s everywhere.
They key is knowing it, and then learning how to manage it effectively.
Ego is not totally bad, it does have benefits. It drives ambition, instils confidence, and builds courage. In order to be successful, and ultimately unstoppable, organizations must have a certain amount of ego.
The problem arises when the organization’s ego (which can be driven by a single person in a position of power) gets out of control. When this happens, the organization starts to ignore hard data, distort market realities and make bad decisions.
Is ego in balance in your organization?