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What’s the worst trait a leader can have that will lead to their downfall?

I’ve asked this question of hundreds of top business leaders around the world, and I’ve received one answer far more often than any other.

Having an unchecked ego.

It’s human to have an ego. The danger comes when we let it grow out of control.

As you grow in your career, you’ll likely get more power, more money, more responsibility, and more status.

That can inevitably lead to more ego. If you leave that ego unchecked, you’ll start thinking your ideas are better than everyone else’s and that you are the best thing to happen to your company.

But that ego can lead to your downfall and create a toxic work culture that causes you to miss out on creating better products and lose touch with your people.

Here are five ways to stop your ego from being your downfall:

  1. Keep practicing empathy. Try to see things from other people’s perspectives and listen to their ideas.
  2. Embrace self-awareness. Understand your strengths and weaknesses and be honest with yourself about how other people see you.
  3. Surround yourself with people who aren’t like you. Build a team of people who are smarter than you and have different values and backgrounds.
  4. Get out of the ivory tower. Spend time with employees and customers across all levels to expand your understanding of the company.
  5. Practice saying “I don’t know.” Even as a leader, you don’t have to have the answer to everything.

An unchecked ego has been the downfall of even the best leaders. Do these things daily to avoid your ego hurting your career.

I put together a video which talks about this in more detail. Please check it out below and if you want more content like this you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.


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