I live and work in Hollywood, so believe me when I say the ego can be a very destructive thing. I’ve met people who lie for a living, just to support their ego. Even in situations where it wouldn’t matter, they still lie because they’re so used to it. And that’s exactly the horrifying power of ego: to save face, we will often do anything. Go back to the Cain and Abel story in the Old Testament to see the power of unchecked ego at work. That story ended in murder. But in most workplaces today, rampant egos obviously don’t lead to murder. But they do lead to regrettable actions. In too many cases, we have too much invested in justifying our actions, rather than being open to something new.
I’ve worked at nonprofits where people knew their ideas were wrong, but they’d invested so much into defending their positions, ego wouldn’t allow them to back down.
What about your office? Is there anyone who has so much invested in a project, proposal, or idea, that even if proved wrong, they refuse to back down? How far will they go? I’ve seen some who are willing to see the organization go bankrupt before they admit they were wrong.
Leaders, keep an eye out for this. You may think everyone on your team is out for the good of the organization, but my experience says otherwise.
Be careful of the power of our ego. It can be a remarkably destructive thing.