As a leader (or aspiring leader), at any level, it’s not okay or at least not sustainable to be “selfish ego” driven at work. Smart, professional people, with life experience, “sniff out” and detect social behaviors in a Nano-second. Think of this simple litmus test:Would a thoughtful person rather work to enrich and empower their boss or would that person rather work to advance a shared cause or Mission?
Given this powerful standard of measurement, a clear line emerges between those behaviors that drive workers away (selfish-ego actions) and those behaviors that demonstrate you are committed to the common cause (“collective-ego” behaviors). The light illuminating this line, between motivating others toward a shared Mission and demoralizing others, shines brightest on the leader.
Our self-centered actions communicate “my reward system is more important than the reward systems of those in my charge.” Certainly people are motivated by their own, individual reward systems- whether that may be personal growth, money, recognition or making a difference in the world. Failing to satisfy the reward systems of those in your charge fails to lead.
Fusion Leadership, a leadership style I learned in my decades as co-founder and CEO of Integra Telecom , acknowledges our natural tendency to be selfish, exploring the daily decisions leaders face that tempt the selfish ego. When we lead with an increased awareness of the behavioral and cultural benefits that result from balancing our selfish ego needs with what’s best for the organization (the collective ego) we begin to “fuse” our organization together around the Mission. For example, consider the question….. (access the full article)