As people advance in their careers and rise through the ranks, they acquire more power. Because of that, others are more likely to want to remain in a leader’s good graces by listening more attentively, agreeing with them more, laughing at their jokes, and so on. All of these factors inflate the ego, which can lead to problems with regard to leadership. Jonathan Davidson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, calls this the “hubris syndrome,” defined as a “disorder of the possession of power, particularly power which has been associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years.” An unchecked ego can warp a person’s ability to see situations accurately and often causes them to overestimate their skills and abilities. It also narrows the ability to think creatively. A large ego always wants confirmation of what it believes to be true and is unwilling to consider solutions from the outside. Because of this, leaders wrapped up in their own egos end up seeing and hearing only what they want to, and will lose touch with the individuals they are supposed to lead and the culture they’re supposed to be part of.
Want to Be a Good Leader? Check Your Ego