Matt M. Starcevich, Ph. D.

(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)
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Ego: a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Often a negative connotation is associated with ego:  My leader has an ego, her ego gets in the way or, we need less not more egos around here. The issue is not whether a person has or is lacking an ego we all have one. As a leader the issue is perhaps, is my ego helping or hurting me, damaging or building relationships in my organizations, a benefit or roadblock to my career?

David Marcum and Steven Smith argue that if out of balance, too much or too little ego is a liability for a leader. Currently 63 percent of business people say ego negatively impacts work performance on an hourly or daily basis, while an additional 31 percent say it happens weekly. (Marcum, David and Smith, Steven. Egonomics: What makes ego our greatest asset or most expensive liability? Fireside a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, NY. 2007.  Pp. 20)

Although not exhaustive this quiz will help you understand if your ego is an asset or liability.  Unbiased self-evaluation is tough; if it helps, select the response that those who know you would say is “typical of you”.

Would others say you?

State your positions in a self-assured, positive and confident way without being aggressive, dogmatic or pushy?

Are charismatic, you can influence others yet are caring enough about others to be open to different opinions and not manipulate others to obey blindly.

Are determined, strong-willed and don’t give up easily on what you believe in, however when presented with differing views, flexible enough to change your position.

Are diplomatic when presented with two opposing views or courses of action, seeking the best resolution for all concerned not the politically expedient.

Are courageous and contemplative, able to support both popular and unpopular decisions. Willing to stand up and be counted.

Are independent, able to operate alone when needed yet open to consultation and guidance from others.

Are committed and dedicated to doing your best without being domineering or overbearing with your staff and others in your organization.

Clearly communicate where you stand on issues without expecting your positons to be seen as a dictate.

Are direct and straightforward as well as considerate of others views and opinions.

Are realistic and pragmatic while not accepting a business as usual approach.

Are self-confident in your personal judgment and abilities without sacrificing your humanness.