We’d all be kidding each other if we didn’t admit that in the service to our King we sometimes get a little full of ourselves.
Every great leader struggles with ego at least once in a while.
Here’s a great experiment you can try with your team. It’s from Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard. It’s written more for a corporate structure, but I think it could work in a church staff setting as well:
One of our favorite ways to reduce the negative impact of ego in the work environment is to conduct an Egos Anonymous session with senior executives. Taking a somewhat tongue-in-cheek cue from the well-known opening session of most 12-step programs, we have the executives sit in a circle, introduce themselves, and share the last time they let their egos get in the way of being their best self. The opening laughter turns more serious, though, as executives describe some of the ego-driven behaviors they regret.
You can check this out for yourself. Reflect on a recent situation where you behaved badly or in a way inconsistent with who you see yourself to be. If you are like the executives we’ve worked with, you’ll find that your ego-driven episode was a result of fear or false pride: a need to be right, to be seen as smart, or to be accepted as a part of the group. Or perhaps your ego episode was driven by a need to win–even at the expense of others. All of these behaviors limit your effectiveness as a leader.
What was the need that drove you to act egotistically? Did you feel threatened or devalued? When you name it and claim it, you begin to neutralize the power it has over you.
Give it a try. And let me know how it goes.
When was the last time that your ego showed itself?