Should a Leader Have a Big Ego?

All of us have horror stories about leaders with big egos. The leader whose self-serving arrogance destroyed a company culture. The leader who recklessly overextended a company that imploded.
But what would happen if you didn’t have a big-enough ego? Would you have the grit to carry the battle to the competition? Would you have the confidence to take calculated risks? Would you have the uncompromising will to succeed?
Sir Alex Ferguson, the former manager of Manchester United and one of the most successful and respected managers in the history of soccer, once said of players, “I embrace the ones with ego. Because they need to win.”
So perhaps the issue isn’t the size of your ego … it’s your ability to manage it.
Business is a team sport. For those with well-managed egos, it’s all about how they can effectively mobilize others so the team can win. For those with poorly managed egos, it’s all about themselves.
Well-managed egos are secure enough to take responsibility when things go wrong. Which enhances their status. Poorly managed egos avoid responsibility when things go wrong. They fear losing status.
Well-managed egos intentionally surround themselves with highly capable people. Poorly managed egos feel threatened when surrounded by highly capable people. They fear being upstaged or exposed.
So, yes, you as a leader need to have a strong ego. You need to be confident … and yet realize that you can’t do it alone. The question is: Are you in control of your ego or is your ego in control of you?
Your thoughts?
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