Ego as defined by Webster’s New Riverside University Dictionary is the personality component that is conscious, most directly control behavior, and is most in touch with external reality is also referred to as self-love, self-confidence and self-esteem. Ego is also referred to as the part of us that feels threatened when we feel insecure, arrogant and caught up in ourselves. Ego also serves as another barrier in the gauntlet that we must face as individuals and as leaders.
There is a cycle of response that people use to protect their self-image or their ego. I watched people lash out to guard their ego when they sense danger is present. They want desperately for their ego to succeed and flourish. The ego has;
An image – a face, which must be saved
The ego is a repository of who we are.
The ego requires
When feeling threatened, attacked or ridiculed, a force field is activated that launches a counter response to protect the person.
President Harry S Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” This quote reflects directly on the ego. Another quotation comes from Benjamin Zander and Rosamund Stone Zander in their book, The Art of Possibility, where they write about Rule #6. People tend to get so caught up in their ego and in themselves that they must periodically be reminded of rule number six. There are no rules one through five, a rule number six simply don’t take yourself too seriously. They use slightly more colorful language, but this is the essence of the rule.
During your workday, think of individuals and situations where you are inclined to evoke your ego. Visualize the individuals and the situations, and mentally rehearse how you will interact with them.
I had a bout with ego.
Its symptoms were blurred vision,
Inability to make a selfless decision;
A sense of self that was overblown,
Chronically centric, with pride overgrown.
I had a bout with ego.
It was too late to screen for the vaccine,
I did not note the antidote
And so susceptible to the fever
I became a blind believer
In a despicable deception
That affected my depth perception.
One day everything was in the “I” refrain
And I became a wall not a membrane
That let others in;
I was not a swinging gate
That let others infiltrate.
I had a bout of ego
I needed a vaccine
An antidote to let me know
I had to intervene
And open myself to others
To hope to find a cure.
I had a bout with ego
That I must win for sure.
Copyright © 2003 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim
By Orlando Ceaser
How do people usually bruise your ego?
How can you protect your ego?
Rule number six states that “you must not take yourself too seriously.” In other words, it is not always about you, so reduce the tendency to take things personally.
Look for situations where you can let other people’s ideas come forth and received the credit.
There are situations where you must protect your reputation and your ideas. Think carefully and act wisely.