The Enemy of Leadership - Jacopo D’Alessandris

2 min readJul 21, 2021
Photo by Orkun Azap on Unsplash

“While it’s critical to have a strong, healthy ego, an overdeveloped ego can quickly limit the growth of the leadership team and the company overall.” Bruce Eckfeldt, INC.

Ego is the ultimate enemy of leadership. I recently came across this article and it was a good reminder of this lesson for me. We all need to check ourselves from time to time because it is easy to slip into an unhealthy ego. It is good to evaluate, especially as a leader, if your ego has gotten the best of you.

Of course, some type of ego is necessary; as a leader, you must be confident in your decisions. But you must also be self-aware. No one person knows and can do everything, so we should not allow our egos to trick us into thinking we can.

The article defined common ‘thinking traps’ of a leader whose ego has gotten the best of them:

“I’m important because I’m needed.”

“People look up to me because I’m smart.”

“It’s bad if I make a mistake.”

“I can never show doubt.”

“I need to win all the time.”

These types of thoughts focus on power and control over others, rather than lifting others up and working in collaboration with their employees.

True leaders work to help their teams grow so they are less needed. They are not threatened by the wits of others and hire people for their intelligence. They have the tools to make strategic decisions while also knowing there is a risk for error. They know that doubt is not synonymous with weakness and allows their doubts to promote open conversations. They do not debate to win, but rather debate to find the best outcome for the team.

Now more than ever, as the economy restarts, I think it is a great opportunity for companies to rethink the type of leadership they have and want to have in the future. The pandemic is changing the way employees think about the relationship between companies and employees. People want to be heard and supported by their leaders, not controlled by them. It is important for leaders to focus on their people rather than themselves.




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