These days to succeed an organisation must promote team work and embrace collaboration there is simply no room room for big egos or there shouldn’t be.
Lo ego leadership is not generally what you expect from a chief executive or chair of the board. Leaders tend to think they are important and their contribution is more valuable than that of others. This can and does get in the way. It upsets those from “ junior” partnership organisations, can lead to promoting favoured projects despite a weak business case against, it can result in dismissing the views of those with out power/status even when they may be able to offer real/ genuine insights and it can result in grandstanding to reinforce that self importance.
If big egos mean an over inflated view of ones own importance does this mean a lo ego leader has low self esteem and lacks confidence? No. Lo ego means not claiming the credit for the work of others , enabling rather than dictating, listening to those with potential insights not just those with easy access and a predisposition to feed the ego.
Those LA’s in trouble could reasonably point to a disadvantageous funding formula and 10 years of government induced austerity against a rising tide of need but could some of the blame be down to over inflated egos. Big egos that led to pet projects, distorted priorities, short termisum, bad business decisions and disgruntled partner agencies.
Self promotion has become such a part of executive career progression it’s hard to see how a modest candidate could succeed. However these days so much is about team work and collaboration that organisations can’t afford to let big egos get in the way.
It shouldn’t be hard to identify the big ego candidates through the recruitment process they are the ones who say “I” rather than “we”. They think communication is about getting their message across. They know the message will not be popular but people will just have to get on with it, because , ” turkeys don’t vote for Christmas”. They think dissent is personal disloyalty. They have a tendency to close down debate rather than open up discussion be that in their own senior management team meeting or multi agency forums. They know they can be intimidating but would claim that sometimes you only get things done through sheer force of personality. They believe their own hyp.
Alternatively rather than focusing totally on effectiveness recruiters could simply ask around to identify leaders with a reputation for being easy to work with.
Blair Mcpherson former director ,author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk