Ego. We all have one. Some egos are as as big as the sun and some are more in touch with reality. We don’t have any concept of ego when we are born but as we grow, the concept of ego is being stated to us and it will continue to grow all through adulthood. There are times that  we set ourselves apart from others, but expect others to set their egos from ours. It drives the human psyche and the physical appearance and in most cases, the source of our material wealth or success.

What Is Ego?

Ego can be described in many ways. An ego can be described as the “I” or self of any individual or person. It can also be described as a person as feeling, thinking, willing and distinguishing him/herself from others or from the objects of others thoughts. Ego is the sense of self-importance or self-esteem. This mental characteristic can get us through the day and helps us in having confidence whenever it is needed. Ego can boost our mental state whenever uncertainty is hanging in the air, setting us to stand on our own pedestal and planting our feet firmly on that pedestal that gives importance to our life.

The big daddy. Image courtesy of http://www.deviantart.com/

The big daddy. Image courtesy of http://www.deviantart.com/

The ego convinces every person of their importance, that they are needed and are good at what they do. For the most part, every person has all of those things. The danger of having too much ego is that when a person is convinced that he or she are more important, are always needed and are far better than others. This is where relationships, respect and honor are threatened and compromised. If you’re following US showbiz or always tuned in to any entertainment channels, there are two  people with the most bloated ego is living right now, Kanye West and Justin Bieber. These two celebrities are the personification of a bloated ego as big as the solar system. A bloated ego can get you fired, disliked, punched or even killed if your circle is the mafia type ones. A big ego will get you nowhere. Big  ego is the human face of pride which is narcissistic, arrogant, self-centered and self-infatuation. It also the need to see oneself as being separate or above others at all times, in any place and in any circumstances.

Know Your Place, Get In Line And Have Your Ego Checked

In life there should be balance and one way to achieve balance is to have your ego checked. There many benefits of having the right ego and attitude, but as everybody know, too much of everything is bad. Having your ego in check is one of the most beneficial action that you can do in maintaining a good balance in life. Let’s say for example, a person that we will name Roco who aspires to be a wise guy and wanted to live the lifestyle. We can say that Roco has humble beginnings and started out small. Roco kept his ears open and his mouth shut. He is a good learner and student. He would always help put the older guys and would always pay his dues. Roco as a part of the crew is a good earner and the bosses were happy. Roco showed the respect that should be given to all the bosses and capos. And most of all he conducts his business quietly, made the right partners and always got the task done without any glitches.

I and I. Image courtesy of tailsfromparis.com

I and I. Image courtesy of tailsfromparis.com

Roco went up the crew ladder when he got older. The bosses gave him more important tasks because he is a capable man. The money was coming in and the bosses were happy. The bosses were satisfied of Roco’s accomplishments. He was provided with his own team, his own crew. It was a big achievement for anyone to have his own crew and to go up the wiseguy ladder. Everything was going well and working like clockwork until Roco’s ego went up his head. He began to think of himself as the smartest guy. He would shout and yell at his crew, treat them like turd and act like God. His ego was getting bigger than his head and body could handle. Roco thought that he could do everything by himself. He thought hat every would be better, cheaper and faster if he does it by himself and then blames his crew when the job did not go as planned. It did not take a long time  before his crew was fed with his shenanigans. Obviously the screw ups was noticed by the bosses. If you’re leading a crew and within the wiseguy world, you  don’t question the motives of your bosses… openly. You can try to get things clear with with all the respect that is needed and required. But Roco’s ego was way too big to do the right thing, the bosses and his crew looked at him unfavorably. And because of his big ego, his performance went down and his whole team or crew came down crashing with him. With this as you may imagine, did not end well with the bosses and Roco went “sleeping with the fishes”.

If you have a professional career, then you better have your ego in check every time. As most everyone says, “there is no I in team.” Let’s say that you are the leader of the CEO of a big company, you need to be open to suggestions from your other executives, managers and the workforce. Do not think that you always have the big answer to everything. By being open to everyone, you will not get caught answering tough questions. If tough questions will be pointed at you, you will be able to answer them. There will be no blaming  and finger pointing at anyone because of some costly mistakes or screw ups. By being open and keeping the ego in check, you will not alienate your subordinates, your teammates, your executives, board members and the investors that put their trust in you.

Teamwork can accomplish anything. Image courtesy of http://workplacepsychology.net/2010/12/17/eight-common-problems-teams-encounter/

Teamwork can accomplish anything. Image courtesy of http://workplacepsychology.net/2010/12/17/eight-common-problems-teams-encounter/

8 Ways Of Keeping Your Ego In Its Right Place

There is a saying that states “ your beliefs don’t make you a better person but your behavior does”.  Try not to be an ass and you will get everything done.

1. Do Not Be A Hypocrite

It may sound simple, but if you have an ego as big as the pacific ocean, there are times the your egoic structure is so damn loud that your mind is creating a make believe story within the domain of your thoughts that you actually believe is true. Be clear and truthful on your actions and your words. Don’t be a hypocrite. Reserve the hypocrisy to the politicians and gossip mongers.

2. Focus On The Team Goals

Individual bragging rights can be handy if you’re doing a one man sport or one man job. But if you think of it if you have a one man job, there are many individuals that contributed to your success. Even a spy or an assassin needs to have the a capable team to get the job done. Engage and listen to your people because there are people who are better than you in certain areas. You need their expertise to move ahead.

3. Don’ Think Of Yourself As The Center Of The Universe

Do not think that the world or your workplace will not if you are not there. You may be essential, but you are not as important as you think. Your colleagues may rely on you, need you and do a great job, but if you are not at work or may be slacking because you find yourself too important, there will always be someone to take your place. Someone better can do your job and without the big ego to boot. Other people can be as smart as you or may be smarter than you. You don’t have to monopolize everything from problem solving, product creation or presenting new ideas in the meeting. Let your colleagues and teammates contribute to the solution. Let them share their ideas and knowledge because if there are many minds working for the same goal, the goal will be attained faster and with better results.

"I" is there. Image courtesy of blueprintbasketball.com

“I” is there. Image courtesy of blueprintbasketball.com

4. Back Up Your Words And Promises

Honor your word. If what comes out of your mouth is different from your actions, the trust and respect of the people around you will vanish. Trust and respect are the other two virtues of making the job done. Be the man and the woman that they can count on because they trust you that you can do your job well. Don’t be the loud mouth and the slacker.

5. Acknowledge The Contributions Of Others

Anyone on your team is like a gear that turns the machine to run properly. Anyone can change the game plan or disrupt the execution  and drag the whole crew down, Just like Roco. Whether a team mate or knowledgeable or not, appreciate what they are doing to make the team a well-oiled machine.

6. Be Honest

Always tell the truth and do not lie. Telling the truth will not only give you respect and trust, but also will make less of a douchebag. Every little lie that you make will turn into bigger lies, which can smack you back in the face. The best thing by telling the truth is that you will not cover every story that you’ve said and will have to remember anything that you’ve said. The only thing that you need to remember are the facts and truth. You will be frank, straightforward and open about anything that involves your career and life.

Honesty hurts. Image courtesy of dilbert.com

Honesty hurts. Image courtesy of dilbert.com

7. Asking Others For Their Expertise

Asking others for their expertise is not a sign of weakness. Asking someone that can complete a work that you cannot do or knowledgeable is a sign of a well-developed leader or team member that understand their limitations. Telling others to do your job just because you’re the boss or you’re just feeling lazy is a sign of a big ego or a sign of being an asshole. Acknowledging your areas of capability and struggle will make you understand your attributes and the things that you need to improve on.

 8. Learn To Listen

If you want to connect with people, learn to listen. Learn to know the common understanding of topics whether you agree or disagree. There are subtle ways of making a point without offending others and that will encourage further evaluation and drive for a solution. Understand the value of respectful communication. No man is an island and that is the truth. You have to stop defining  yourself by how much task you have completed in a day and pay more attention to your crew. Put your ego aside and the notion that you are indispensable. Divide the tasks and allow other people to learn and enhance her skills. An engine will not run with just the crankshaft, it needs other parts to function properly. Just like you and your crew.    

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.