Managing is a Team Sport – Park Your Ego at The Door

You and I both know that there are a number of ways to accomplish the same task. The more that you allow others to be part of the process; the more likely it is – that they’ll be interested in the results. It shouldn’t be just your way – solicit their input. Always keep in mind that you need others a great deal more than they need you. You’re going to look pretty silly trying to manage things by yourself. Remember – Managing is a team sport so park your ego at the door.

Worth Remembering … “Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself too seriously” – Norman Vincent Peale

Now don’t get me wrong – it’s important to have a “healthy” ego. Trust me – I have enough ego to fill up any room I walk into. (After all I’m the ultimate Control Freak) My ego has never been in short supply but, I’ve also come to know that too much ego can become a weakness. It’s like stress. A little stress in your life is not necessarily a bad thing. Without a little stress in our lives we’d turn into couch potatoes and would never be motivated enough to do anything. But we also know that too much stress in our lives can be unhealthy. I think of ego the same way. A little ego gives us enough self-confidence in our own abilities to want to step up and take on a certain tasks or roles. However, if you have too much ego you may volunteer to take something on that you aren’t totally prepared for and then have too much pride that you won’t admit that you’re over your head.

Worth Remembering … “Bury your ego. Don’t be the star. Be the star maker” – Bud Hadfield

No one is successful by themselves. You are only as good as the people around you. Learn to build collaborative teams and establish partnerships. Both our Men’s and Women’s Olympic Gold Medal winning hockey teams didn’t start winning gold medals and world championships until we changed our way of thinking. Years of coming up short by stocking our teams with superstars and letting them do their own thing – independently of each other wasn’t getting the kinds of results that we expected. It wasn’t until everyone on the team parked their ego’s at the door and committed themselves to playing a team game did we find success. It wasn’t until everyone on the team committed themselves to playing a team role – did we start to win.

Worth Remembering … “Desire for approval and recognition is a healthy motive but the desire to be acknowledged as better, stronger, or more intelligent than a fellow being or fellow scholar easily leads to an excessively egotistic psychological adjustment” – Albert Einstein

Think of your ego as an outward expression of your internal thoughts. Your ego is a combination of self-esteem and self-confidence. If you are deficient in ether one it will express itself in the way that you act and treat others. Managing is not about being right. Managing and leading is about doing all you need to do to accomplish the task and reach the goals you’ve established for your department or business. If that means letting others have a say – and incorporating some of their thoughts and ideas into your plan – then do it. And if it means letting them do it their way – then that’s what you need to do. As long as it gets the desired results – on time and on budget – then it makes no never mind how it was accomplished. If that requires you parking your ego at the door – then so be it. 🙂

* (c) Copyright 2012 – Brian Smith – Reformed Control Freak. Not to be reproduced without written permission.