Don’t let your ego get in the way of success

egoA recent Sunday NY Times article titled “Bosses Who Love Themselves” by Phyllis Korkki sets up an interesting contrast with an article also written in the NY Times on the same day by Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, titled “How Men Can Succeed.” Korkki’s article reports on studies of CEO narcissism and its impact on performance and their organizations, while Sandberg’s article discusses gender equality in the workplace and how it can benefit men. Not surprisingly, Korkki’s article concludes that the more narcissistic the CEO or co-workers, the less effective the organization. Being a self-centered, narcissistic celebrity CEO is bad for any organization and the CEO usually winds up getting fired much sooner than less egotistical CEOs. Korkki’s article advises people to look for another job if they have a narcissistic CEO, which is understandable but somewhat dismaying advice. There is nothing entirely groundbreaking about these findings except that they’re so explicit and use the term “narcissism.” Using “narcissism” strikes me as unusual because it is so culturally negative that is has typically been avoided. While “narcissism” is, I firmly believe, an accurate definition of the egotism of many CEOs, saying it so bluntly is rare and politically incorrect but refreshing. Sandberg’s article is in sharp contrast to the narcissistic CEO approach. She draws on the work we blogged about a little while ago about the positive impact of having more women in the work place. She argues that men benefit considerably from having women around who are treated with equality. In addition, she contends that men who live and work in environments where there is gender equality tend to be more content. Sandberg also notes that many men, most likely the more narcissistic ones, feel threatened by women in the workforce. Korkki’s article on narcissism shows the downside of egos (mainly male). Sandberg’s article on gender equality shows the upside of humility and collaboration due to the fact that women, on average, are less narcissistic than men. To add to this, let’s blend in the notion of purpose. When a gender-balanced team has a compelling purpose, supported by humility about what they know and what it takes to achieve their purpose, great things will happen to the culture. Let us help you work together to build a culture of greatness within your organization and put all egos aside.]]>

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