This Friday, I am going to deviate from the usual “Ask Lisa” posts to continue my discussion of the Seven Diseases of Middle Management. If you would like to submit a management question for future Friday posts, click here.
Last week I did a post on the Seven Diseases of Middle Management. I will now explore each disease in a bit more detail. This post focuses on Enlarged Ego Syndrome.
Disease: Enlarged Ego Syndrome
The ego can be our best friend or worst enemy, depending on the situation. Middle managers benefit from a strong and healthy ego – as management often takes courage and gumption. Enlarged Ego Syndrome occurs when the ego produces ideas and thoughts that do not serve the manager´s goals.
The Enlarged Ego Syndrome is diagnosed when the any of the following needs get in the way of results:
The need to be right.
The need to look good.
The need to win.
The need for control.
The need for acclaim or promotion.
Redefine what success is and looks like. Our definition of success determines the choices we make and our actions. Imagine if we believed that winning arguments at any cost would make us successful. We would act like obnoxious control freaks and alienate those around us. This would not lead to a good result. By examining and redefining our definition of success, we can experience an immediate breakthrough and improved results.
Great Reads for sufferers of Enlarged Ego Syndrome
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Stewardship by Peter Block
Flight of the Buffalo by James Belasco and Ralph Stayer
There is a cure for Enlarged Ego Syndrome and, once treated, the patient will generally experience more acclaim, fame, and victory, than when his or her ego was focused on these needs. This is a double-edged sword because when the ego is reinforced it may again dominate the manager´s behavior in a way that is not helpful. The danger of relapse is always a concern.