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  • Writer's pictureBurk Moreland

Check Your Ego At The Door

Several years ago I trained with a Mixed Martial Arts trainer in Houston named Rick McLemore.  He had a great sign on the wall in the training room that I quote often: 

Your ego is fragile…  Leave it outside or it will be broken.

About 15 minutes into my first workout — my frustration high at not being able to perform what sounded like very simple instructions — I understood what the sign meant.   In just minutes, my ego had been broken.  And I learned very quickly to laugh at myself and leave the ego at the door.

The ability to admit you don’t know something is vital for success.  Allowing others to help you gives everyone a chance to grow.  The person teaching gets to learn about helping others; the person being helped gains knowledge and skills.  It is a win-win that only occurs when ego is not in the picture.

In business, as in life, acting out of ego has a negative effect.  You don’t grow and learn, and those around you who can help you are often left demoralized and frustrated.  Humility is like Miracle Grow for your company.  Ego is Roundup.

Here are 3 signs you are managing from your ego:

  • You feel as if you are the only/best one who can solve the problems of your company.

  • You believe you are the only/best one who can do the job the right way.

  • No one wants to help you.

If these are true, more than likely, you are the cause of the breakdowns in your organization.

When your ego is in the way, you make poor decisions about your business, particularly regarding the people on your team.  You either don’t empower them by giving them a chance to help (and possibly outshine you), or you miss opportunities to replace those who can’t help you with those who can. 

Real Benefits of Checking Your Ego at the Door

  • You set a great example for the managers under you. 

  • You create an atmosphere where everyone is empowered and everyone has an opportunity to contribute.  Good ideas can come from anyone, not just the people at the top.

  • When you put the greater good of the company ahead of yourself, growth happens faster, easier, and more smoothly.

For your company to thrive, leave your ego outside.  Then watch the magic happen.  

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