We all know them, we have seen them at school, in work and we see them playing politics on TV and in the news.
The egoholic needs to control people and often to demean and belittle them, in order to validate themselves.
Whatever authority they have relies on their title, their uniform or intimidation.
When I was younger this kind of “authority” was normal, thankfully in modern organisations these characters are increasingly rare.
What drives people to behave this way is their own insecurity. Insecurity or lack of self confidence can lead to dramatically different behaviours. At one end of the spectrum insecurity can lead people to be reticent and hold back, at the other end to be arrogant and intimidating.
Businesses and organisations increasingly realise that they do not get the best out of people through fear. We will never go the extra mile or be at our most creative for those we are afraid of. Instead there is a simmering resentment and a desire for change.
The new approach is to be encouraging, to focus on people’s strengths, their interests, their values and their passions. It is supportive, coaching, nurturing even, allowing team members to make the most of their talents in service to the organisation.
When people feel aligned with their work and supported in their efforts, they give more, they try harder and they achieve greater results. We know this is true of ourselves – so why would it be different for others?
To deliver this level of support organisations need an advanced form of leadership. Leadership that is based on an inner confidence: Leadership that can admit fears and weakness, rather than covering them up. Leadership that can trust others to do be responsible, rather than seeking to control them. Leadership that can empower people to take decisions based on their values and experience rather than interfering.
This is the essence of Authentic Leadership and the organisations they lead enjoy the benefits of authenticity.
The results of egoholic leadership are all around us and are blighting our lives and worse for many. At the very least we are paying more tax to fund the excesses of egoholic bankers and to pay for the conflicts caused by egoholic politicians.
It is time to say good-bye to the egoholic. Your drive and determination was valuable in it’s day, it lead us to a far deeper and greater sense of personal responsibility. Now it is time to move on.
The organisations that flourish today are the ones that are authentic. They generate profits (or achieve their objectives) through the pursuit of a profound and positive purpose. Their authentic leaders inspire and energise the organisation to achieve great things for themselves, their organisation, their community and society as a whole.
If you would like to find out more about authentic leadership please visit the dedicated Authentic Leadership microsite. http://www.authenticleadership.me
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