Before attempting to theorize on the aforementioned question let us define one who shows respect. One dictionary defines respectful as, "full of, characterized by, or showing politeness or deference." This dictionary also provides some synonyms for respectful, "courteous, polite, decorous, civil, deferential." Here we find not complete meekness but rather a gracious, open mind. It is quite easy to imagine a leader balancing the constructive quality of ego, unique individualism, with a gracious, open mind. In fact we will find along our leadership journey that great leaders celebrate and promote the unique individualism of their team members. Often times though as leaders we struggle in the face of team members which emanate the infatuation of self. We will not focus on how to deal with these team members, but rather it is imperative that we continue to master control over our own self.
We should now find it necessary to examine the destructiveness of ego. How dangerous are leaders who think that they know it all? What is the likelihood that a know-it-all leader will not only seek out the thoughts of others, but actually secede control over processes and projects? Does the term micromanager come to mind? Top down environments and organizations turn middle level managers into middle level implementers. It is so easy to fall into this trap as a leader, especially when we find ourselves with significant experience in a particular area. Unconsciously however, we can generate the perils of all teams, deceit, discontent, and worst of all disenfranchisement.
Of the perils of ego King Solomon offers, "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." Success can remain elusive if team members care more about their individual ego, career development, or recognition rather than the mission and goals of the team. When we discover that we have been driven unconsciously to promote our own self in a destructive manner then grasp control. Perhaps societal influences create the overwhelming unsconcious drive to become infatuated with self. We have reason to feel blessed however. Regardless of how powerful the external factors become we still maintain the ability to control our own mind and our own self. If we truly open our minds and hearts to genuinely investigate and learn what is inside our companions then we will earn their unconditional respect.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2012