Their Ego!!! I am sure that most have thought with the headline in “the price of their toys”. Might be but the focus for me should be today on the Ego and its impact in our work lives.
I have had many different managers so far and I am sure there are still many more to come. There are a couple of them for which I have a very strong respect still. Those who know me will say “oh you really do respect somebody???”. Yes I do but respect is something I clearly not give a way for free or as a given to somebody who has a higher rank than I do. The ones that I do respect all have in common that they have a very strong ego. They know that they are good and they make sure that you know it as well. I always remember the following scene from American Beauty when talking about ego and success.
Managers, at least for me, should also be leaders. Otherwise the become mere number reporters which does not have too much to do with value or real management. As leaders they need to be convincing. Since the very beginning I disliked when people use the given frase “we are so excited about this…”. Besides exceptions it was just a phrase with no real content. But then there are those who transmit that they really believe in something and can just drag you along in order to believe in the same and work on the same goal. This is to me the positive side of the ego.
The negative side is that too often the main enemy of those leaders is their own ego. They feel that only they themselves are the in the ownership of truth and right. You might have seen the lastest Oracle Open World where Larry Ellison was bashing each and every one of his competitors in a way we are “getting used to”. It seems like he cannot conceive that anybody besides him can make great products and also market them. The messaging gets very quickly very muddy and I would put in doubt that there is a lot of added value for anybody in this. Yet those who have seen Larry in the past and also the messaging that comes from Oracle know that this is just his way of doing. What was more stunning to me is that all of a sudden he got replies from sources I would not have expected.
Funny to see how well seasoned managers with a tremendous career already on their back jump on a provocation like the one mentioned by Larry. Worse is by answering they increment the audience the provocation gets and people start to ask the question, “what is really behind this”. It reminds me of my wonderful childhood when we played in the sandbox with our toys. There was always one that had bigger toy and was provoking us. We responded and not too seldomly the results were linked to some bruises. This is what kids (especially boys) do. Men do not use their fists too often but they continue with the same behaviour.
Instead of answering to a provocation just ignoring it can be much bigger and more effective way of punishment, let the ego flow and hit back when the time comes.