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Challenge: Back to School 2021

Why Checking Your Ego Is a Game-Changer

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A couple weeks ago I wrote about the Top 15 Lessons Learned while running WIT for 15 years. One of the lessons I shared about was connected to checking my ego. While being confident and believing in my vision has been necessary, there have been times when my ego got in the way and was detrimental to professional growth and business success.


So here are my top three reasons why checking your ego is a great for business:

Impaired Decision-Making
A big ego often leads to overconfidence and an unwillingness to consider alternative perspectives. You've got a business to run, decisions to make, and a million things on your plate. But beware, too much ego can cloud your judgment. During the first year of WIT it was hard for me to be “wrong”. I felt like I was supposed to have all the answers so I acted like I did. Not a great choice. Being overly confident can shut down your openness to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives. The best decisions come from a mix of confidence and humility. Now, my go-to approach when it comes to decision making is asking questions when I don’t know the answers and surrounding myself with people who are much smarter than me!

Negative Impact on Team Dynamics
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Well, not if ego is calling all the shots. An inflated sense of self can poison the vibe, stifle creativity and can make your team think twice before speaking up. Successful businesses thrive on open communication and a supportive team culture. I’ve had moments when my ego was negatively impacting team culture because it kept me from firing someone. I was afraid to look like the “bad guy” or admit that I had made a bad hire. Ultimately this led to other teammates feeling like I didn’t have their back because I allowed someone on the team who was negatively impacting the group.

Limited Personal Growth and Learning
A big ego often stands in the way of personal and professional development. With an inflated self-esteem, it may be hard to acknowledge weaknesses or seek guidance from mentors and peers. In the ever-evolving business landscape, adaptability is key. Ego-driven leaders might miss out on opportunities to learn, grow, and level up their game. Great mentors have been the key to my success and I wouldn’t have them if I wasn't willing to listen and ask for help.

Success isn't a solo journey. It's about teamwork, growth, and staying humble in the face of challenges. As you carve your path in the business world, keep that ego in check with the perfect blend of confidence and humility.

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