What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability)
Arrogant, self-centered, stubborn, and insecure -- words that most people associate with ego. But in this original, eye-opening work, authors David Marcum and Steven Smith argue that the upside of ego is as powerful as the downside and answer questions about ego that have been a mystery to most people.
In his landmark book, Good to Great, Jim Collins showed that one of two key traits defined leaders who transformed organizations from good to great: humility. But if humility is so powerful, why don't more of us have it? Why does ego allow us to reach good results but never great ones, unless balanced by humility? Why do we need ego to personally succeed, while having it often interferes with the success we pursue?
Using five years of exhaustive research, Marcum and Smith provide compelling evidence and matter-of-fact answers on striking the balance between ego and humility to reach the next level of leadership. The authors include case studies to illustrate how ego subtly interferes with success but also how ego sparks the drive to achieve, the nerve to try something new, and the tenacity to conquer adversity.
The Early Warning Signs
We all have moments when ego costs us everything from an honest conversation to a job or promotion. Through cross-disciplinary research, egonomics reveals how to detect four early warning signs that ego is becoming a liability, including how:
being too competitive makes you less competitive
defending ideas turns into defending yourself
winning ideas can be halted by the creator's own intelligence and talent
desiring respect and recognition can interfere with success
The Keys to Egonomic Health
Three key principles keep ego healthy:
humility: striking the crucial balance between too much ego and not enough
curiosity: blending free thinking and discipline without bias
veracity: removing fear of giving or getting feedback to produce water-cooler honesty
With a clear focus on elevating the way you do business, egonomics is a liberating approach to becoming a rare and respected leader.
- Touchstone, September 2007
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