Recognising the signs of an unhealthy ego in business will serve you well. There are warning signs. Knowing how to spot them as early as possible gives you a better chance of preventing unfavourable behaviour from becoming an issue. Of course, red flags don’t always translate into problems. However, it could be an indication that a change is needed. It’s better to take action at the first signs of disruption before it becomes costly on multiple levels.
The Ego of Too Much Confidence and Not Enough Skill
We can all share a story over a glass of something tasty about that one person who was all mouth and no trousers. Their confidence is off the charts, but their skill level requires a magnifying glass in comparison. They usually get the position because of their ideas of grandeur—selling their vision in the recruitment process.
It’s more common than you may realise to have an individual join the business or be promoted through the ranks with their plan that does not align in any way with the buried core values of the existing organisation. Instead of assessing how they may enhance and promote the principles of the business, the interviewer will be blinded by the conquests of the individual. Those with an unhealthy ego will have a narrative that is about them.
They will rarely make the connection. But, if you carefully consider it, you will realise you’re the one left to connect the dots. Therefore it is for you as the company’s representative to decide if you are ready to hand over control. You must have HouseRules or implement them in your business to avoid a silent takeover.
An Unhealthy Ego is a Common Problem
Hiring the right person for the company can be a challenge. However, when the odds of getting it right are so low, there is a severe flaw. To have a troublesome team member is concerning. To have a bad manager or leader is detrimental to business (and very costly).
Beware of the Charming Usurper
To be sold someone else’s dream can have a negative impact on your existing team.
You’re in a dire situation when there is a disconnect between your company’s vision, mission and values and what the candidate offers.
Maintain control with HouseRules
You either have no substantial HouseRules within your business, or they are buried so deep in the archives no one remembers they exist. Without them, you are introducing chaos into the work environment by having the new person set the tone and lead their own path.
Hiring a candidate for their dream of success is handing over the leadership of the business. Their aspirations are not what the existing team has signed up to, so how can you not expect conflict?
Regularly reviewing the direction you want the business to be moving towards and the best practices will assist in determining who is needed in the organisation as it grows.
This is where an audit becomes invaluable as you take anything from an overview to a deep dive into a particular business area to establish how it can be refined.
An Unhealthy Ego Brings About Stagnation
It’s frustrating when a manager is reluctant to give their team members autonomy to complete a project. When team members are not free to use their expertise, frustration eventually leads to infuriation. In addition, reporting back at every stage becomes tiresome and time-consuming, especially when the job could get done much quicker if the team member was not micromanaged.
Whilst the rate of growth may vary, changes are inevitable. Failure to see any improvements or, worse still, regression is a sign that there is an unhealthy ego nearby. The goal must surely be a completely independent team that can think outside the box. The whole point of having a team is for support. Therefore, when your manager has broken the team’s spirits to the point where the only autonomy they exercise is to show up, there is a significant problem.
Stop missing out on potential opportunities because your manager focuses on spoon-feeding the team rather than allowing everyone to do their duties. Common elements of the job should have set procedures and processes to follow. Whilst these practices will help to clarify who should be doing what. If the manager lacks trust in the guidelines, then it’s time to evaluate where improvements are needed.
Identify the Real Obstacle
It is relatively easy to identify the source of the problem. An unhealthy ego trait is to drive away talent. An individual who does a great job yet sees no opportunity for advancement will start to explore alternative options.
Do you know how common it is to discover that although there’s a guide on executing a task in everyday life, it needs to be followed?
Rather than wasting time repeating what is constantly ignored, how about you book a Dust Off audit and find out what is being done. It is often the case that an unhealthy ego has its own standards and what’s believed to be the best approach.
A constant churn of replacement people and resources indicates a need for HouseRules, implementation or monitoring of those rules.
The Centre of the Universe Ego
The manager that’s never available, regardless of how much you try to contact them. However, if you are essential to them, they will hound you into submission to have the meeting or take the call. They see themselves as the most incredible boss. They thrive on always having a scapegoat to hand for anything that goes wrong.
If a deadline is missed, it is because an inadequate person in the team needed to do their job correctly and gave incorrect information. They view everyone else as incompetent and not worth having on the team. It is such a sacrifice that has to be made for the good of the business.
This is where the birth of hostility and the lowered glass ceiling come into play. This boss can climb the preverbal ladder by jumping from company to company on the success of others. You will also notice that no one will be promoted on their watch (if they can help). They have rules supporting their plan to succeed at all costs.
HouseRules deter Unhealthy Egos
The individual with the unhealthy ego’s objective is to maintain a firm grasp of control and to instil fear in anyone contemplating deviating from their status quo. You’ve got problems if that is different from your company’s purpose.
It perfectly justifies why constant checks and monitoring are essential at all levels. The ego tells them they’re a martyr because they’re making sacrifices for the good of the business. HouseRules form part of the daily runnings of the organisation, giving everyone a point of reference.
- From the point of recruitment and onboarding, know what to look for in a candidate rather than being wooed;
- Having each individual recognise that rules in the organisation are not arbitrary. They are implemented to fulfil the overall values and purpose of the company.
- No one is above or excluded from HouseRules they are monitored, and action will be taken if they are not complied with.
Go beyond the ordinary. Put as much strategic planning into how you would like to form your internal community as your sales or customer funnel. Whether you want someone to bounce thoughts off or guidance through the process, The Ethical Strategist is here. Isn’t it time to get your house in order?
Book a Sip & Chat if you need help figuring out where to start, and let’s get to work.
P.S. Only healthy egos are allowed!