Tag Archive for lead

10 Traits of Ego-Driven Leaders


We all struggle with ego — every single one of us. Ego-driven leadership is one of the most toxic elements that can be introduced to a team or organization. How can you tell if your leadership is ego-driven?

1. Ego-driven leaders often measure their success by how much others notice their success. It becomes more about being the center of attention than it does about actually being successful in and of itself.

2. Ego-driven leaders often feel better about themselves when others around them don’t achieve or earn as much as they do.

3. Ego-driven leaders tend to undermine others so that they can appear to themselves and others to be smarter, better, etc.

4. Ego-driven leaders tend to drive others away over time. It’s incredibly taxing working for an ego-driven leader, because…

5. Ego-driven leaders tend to destroy trust and attempt to control others through whatever means necessary. This is exhausting for those who work with these leaders.

6. Ego-driven leaders are always looking for more praise, always looking for the next spotlight.

7. Status supplants service as the true, underlying motivator of the ego-driven leader.

8. Ego-driven leaders tend to be easily offended, even if their own behavior toward others is far more egregious. They’re quick to call others defensive, and quick to point out what they perceive to be faulty attitudes in others.

9. Ego-driven leaders tend to have a burning desire to be right. Every. Single. Time. Or so it seems to those around them.

10. Ego-driven leaders very rarely admit their faults without somehow rationalizing or blaming others.

So what do you think? Did I miss any?

8 Questions About Our Servant Leadership

socrates-07Those who know me know I’m a huge fan of Socrates, and specifically the Socratic method. I think much learning and growth can happen within the context of (1) asking questions of ourselves and others, (2) thinking through questions and their underlying assumptions, and (3) searching for honest answers to those questions.

So with that in mind, here are some I’ve been thinking through for myself. Perhaps they’ll be helpful to you as well.

1. Do I actually, truly listen to others in such a way that I’m serving them throughout our interactions?

2. Do I not only understand the thoughts and feelings of others, but also genuinely care more about their thoughts and feelings than I do my own?

3. Do I actively foster the mental and emotional health and wellbeing of those around me?

4. Do I seek to help people heal from past hurts, especially if I intentionally or unintentionally caused them?

5. Am I quick to accept responsibility — full responsibility — for things I’ve done rather than attempting to wiggle out of it?

6. Do I embrace self-reflection and self-awareness as essential and meaningful disciplines of a leader?

7. Do I view my role within my team and organization as one of a serving steward?

8. Would others list humility as one of my defining characteristics?

Got any you’re working through? Leave them in the comments below so others can benefit from them too!

How Does Your Leadership Affect Others?

affect, effectLeadership can be measured, in part, by its effect on those we lead. Leadership affects people, for better or worse. Those interested in truly embracing a philosophy of servant leadership have some indicators we can look for. For instance…

Do we energize others? Or do we drag them down?

Do we encourage emotional health? Or does our leadership — intentionally or unintentionally — take a toll on the emotions of others?

Are others becoming more wholly themselves? Or do they feel forced to become who we want them to be?

Are our teammates becoming more autonomous? Or are they oppressed by our inability to let go?

Do they feel like we care about them as professionals and humans? Or does it seem we’re simply concerned with how they perform?

Do they feel like fully human people? Or do they feel like pawns in our political power plays?

We must ask ourselves how our leadership is affecting those we lead. Are we encouraging them to become increasingly human? Are we helping them grow into themselves? Are we truly serving them?