How to Avoid The Age of the Ego

Yes, we are all witnesses to egomania weren’t we? I’m not even a basketball fan and got tired of all of the hype regarding Lebron’s epic decision. Then, as if that were not enough, we had to continue to hear more about his epic skills throughout the year. Yeah, how’d that work out for the Heat?

It seems that there is a pandemic of egomania infecting the world as we know it. What happened to teamwork being championed in the workplace and on the field? It seems that everyone from the technology nerd made CEO to the latest and greatest sports player all the way to the latest YouTube idiot made famous has displayed the primal and bottomless hunger for self directed attention. Unfortunately, this has made it into most workplaces. Notice the word “most”. Leaders, it starts and ends with you.


Again, I am not a sports fan by any means, but do read a lot about some of the successful teams who worked together to bring the championship home through adversity. This adversity could be due to social influences, team conflicts, or just plain skill obstacles. Like most people, I really enjoy the stories behind the legends. In reviewing some of these recently, I noticed one trending characteristic, the leader recruited intuitively.

In one particular example from my own area, the coach decided to pass on the star football players and chose instead to find those who had we he called the “heart” for the game. He explained he could train and coach up anyone, but if someone was unwilling to learn because they had all of the answers, well he couldn’t do much with them. The same is true as you are building out your team in the office.

If you are recruiting for openings in your team, especially if you are in a sales or marketing function, the tendency is to look for that star performer in the market and go after them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that mentality at all, in fact, I advise managers to do that all of the time. What I also advise against is going after those recruits who are so high on themselves they just exude obnoxiousness. Now I’ve been in the place where I needed to get someone who would bring the numbers to the P&L, but at what cost? Are you willing to sacrifice those steady performers on your team by bringing in someone who will infect your entire team with their egolicous cancer? I would not if I were you. Consider the amount of business they will bring in, but also consider the soft costs involved in the turnover of both team members and clients. Is it really worth it?

Join us next post to talk about how to end the Egomania in the office!

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