I read the article below on JobDig and felt so strongly about it I added it to my blog. Unless your organization is statisfied with the status quo we all need to learn to work with these people. They are a necessary evil when building an empire. Do not discard, disassociate or discount yourself when in their presence. Passion and a sense of business savvy should be embraced and admired and not a point of envy or resentment. We all play an intricate part in the success of the organizations in each and every role, no matter how insignificant the role hired for my seem. My point is you need employees like this -- there is a method to their madness (although irritating and sometimes infuriating) I am of the opinion they raise the organizational bar, present ideas that can excel an organization beyond complacency, if managed appropriately, like "water off a ducks back". Given them a chance and stay out of there way and try what they suggest you may be surprised with the outcome.
Ego and Leadership
By Joan Lloyd
"It's all about Max," my colleague muttered, as we waited for him once again for a meeting. "He never thinks about anyone else's schedule; his is always more important - and he'll let you know it."
Fifteen minutes later, with a few quick jokes and a dazzling smile, he swept into the room. Before long he was on his PDA, and then stepped out to take a call. What's going on here? Ego strength is a necessary character trait for leadership, but it can be a career derailer, if it's not in balance with other behaviors such as empathy and collaboration. Over time, Max's self-absorbed behavior will erode the support of his colleagues, no matter how well he performs his job.
How do you recognize an over-developed ego? It feels like arrogance, if you're on the receiving end. The over-developed ego - I'll call it the OE type - will typically jump in and out of meetings, disrupting the agenda. He or she will take calls during a one-on-one conversation. The OE will steer meetings to outcomes they want, blowing past other's ideas. Often, the OE will have a larger than life personality, and sometimes that manifests in charm and charisma, other times the OE type acts like a bully. Either way, they aim to win.
OE types with talent often rise to the top of their field. They brush off rejection and failure - in fact, they barely notice it - as they single-mindedly plow ahead toward their goals. That works to a point and it's particularly useful in an individual contributor role, like sales. But when they find themselves in a position of leadership, it can begin to unravel.
Rather than listen to other's views about why something won't work, he/she will push it through anyway. Resistance from the troops - both active and passive - will stall implementation.
Rather than share the credit with those who deserve it, he/she will wear the team's results like a personal badge. Team resentment builds and initiative and ownership flags. Peers, who have grown tired of disrespectful behavior toward themselves and their teams, will tend to passively watch the OE make a mistake, rather than jump in with corrective, honest feedback. They have learned it isn't heard or heeded anyway, so why try to bail him or her out? Senior management, who is wowed with the OE's star quality, will eventually have to face up to the OE's "dark side." If the OE's bad behavior results in losing high potential employees, peer complaints, or lack of support for the OE's upward promotability, the senior leaders will have to deal with that fall out. Ultimately, the OE's career will stall or derail.
The OE tends to hold many jobs in his or her career. Usually, they interview well and make a big splash early. But over time, they get themselves into trouble with comments and actions the culture rejects.
Sometimes the OE will have a life-changing event that will force him or her to look in the mirror. Sometimes they will benefit from an external coach, who is tough enough to call them on their behavior and teach new approaches. If they are lucky, they will get a good manager who will call out the inappropriate behavior and mentor them to the greatness they are capable of... if they can just get out of their own way.
Weekly Recognition Tip: Time Off
Recently I ran an employee survey for an international organization. The results confirm my previous studies: employees really value time off as a spot award. Acknowledge effort, commitment, and results with an hour or two that employees can use at their discretion. I promise, employees will love it!