One thing that will make resolving any leadership problem much easier

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There’s one thing you can do in any situation to elevate your leadership and ensure you always get the best from yourself.

Whether you’re building a team, launching a new strategy, or handling any of the myriad of challenges business leaders face in getting an organization to fulfill a vision…This one thing, which is an essential leadership skill, is something you can always do to ensure you waste the least amount of time and stay clear headed.

What is that one thing? It’s to keep your ego in check. And, better yet, keep it out of your leadership all together. It’s the one leadership skill that applies to any situation.

Over the years in founding different businesses and coaching entrepreneurs and executives through some very tough situations, I’ve identified four practices to maintain a strategy of keeping the ego in check.

First, I want to make sure we’re on the same page with ego. Ego has two sides or we could say two modes of operation to make you miserable. There is the side most people associate with ego and that is arrogance and self importance,

But, ego has another side. One that I often refer to as back door self importance. That side of ego is where you beat yourself up for decisions or mistakes you’ve made in the past. Whether the past is 5 years, 5 months or 5 days ago. The reason I say it’s back door self importance is because the focus is still on you!

Now that we’re on the same page with two ways your ego uses to keep you the center of focus let’s get to the 4 practices myself and many others have found so helpful keep the ego in check.

Use them to check in with yourself on regular basis. Especially if you’re having any mental or emotional torment about work.

1. Let go of the need to be right.

Results are what matter. Leading a team or an organization to the intended results is your job. So, it’s never about being right. The need to be right leads to being defensive, combative and the deadly tunnel vision. All of which make success and resolving any problem much more difficult.

Be mindful of the ego trick needing to be right and release it when it comes up. Instead move forward being open while using vision and powerful intention. 

2. Don’t take anything personally.

People do what they do for their own conscious and unconscious reasons. Taking anything they do personally will only lead to wasted time, energy and make achieving results so much harder.

Taking things personally leads to being combative and a host of other ego tricks that damage relationships. It’s your ego’s way of making you the center of the Universe.

Nothing good comes from taking things personally and it doesn’t lead to the peace and centeredness of great leadership. Instead of taking things personally, embrace acceptance, and guide people back to being focused on greatness.

3. Keep the focus on your people.

A very effective way to keep your ego in check and avoid going down its rabbit hole of time sucking unnecessary problems of self importance, is to keep your focus on others.

In business leadership this is done by doing your best to uplift your team or organization. Lead them, inspire and motivate them. Use acknowledgement and a  commanding presence vs a commanding energy. A commanding presence is achieved with servant leadership that is heart centered.

4. Take your work seriously, but not yourself.

This about keeping everything in perspective and avoiding the ego’s habit of making itself the center of attention. An example is making your life all about whatever challenge your facing in business right now. However big the challenge is, remember…This too shall pass.

By using humor and remaining positive you won’t end up taking yourself too seriously. This will make it easier for you and your team to be calm in the face of a challenge. By simultaneously taking your work seriously you’ll remain focused. 

At the end of the day there isn’t any aspect of being a great leader, or any challenge faced in leadership, that won’t benefit by keeping your ego out of it.

I’ve found the Ancient Wisdom practice of “not-doing” very helpful in staying mindful, and on top of, how many ways my ego can get involved to complicate things. Not-doing is the mindful practice of observing our own behavior from someone else’s perspective.

What action do you take to keep your ego in check?

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