Yesterday I was in an elevator with my colleague in New York City going up to my room after a great day of Leadership training. Two men got into the elevator and were discussing how early they had to get up. The one man commented, “Oh boy, what a long day.” I said, “What do you do?” The elevator door opened as he replied “I’m so-and-so”.
“Wait a minute are you THE sports hero so-and-so?” Exiting he retorted, “Yeah.” My only thought was how my kids would love a photo of this sports hero. I extended my arm to him and said, “Wait,” as he continued walking away. “Please may I take a picture of you for my kids?”
The sports hero looked at me without blinking, straight faced said, “You are too late and too slow. You don’t even have your camera out.” He stared at me for a second and looked down at my hand to see if I had my camera out and ready.
I was shocked and said, “Wow…..”, he turned away again and muttered, “Too slow” and I got back on the elevator.
My colleague and I looked at each other dumbfounded. We concluded that he probably had had a ‘rough day’, or that his ego may have been bruised.
Our egos can hurt us in many ways and help us in others. Ego gives us context relying on our past experiences to guide us. It can also close us off to life experiences based on our past. There is nothing wrong with having a high opinion of yourself as long as you have a high opinion of others. It’s all about ego management.
Recently, someone said to me, “I don’t like the way you’re talking to me.” For a moment I was taken back. Then I came right back down to earth and thought, “Wow, my ego just got the best of me. Do you have the ability to consider your immediate situation and think beyond the moment you are experiencing? Do you stop and recognize the perception that you are projecting?
The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche believed that the more aware we are of our feelings, the better we are at converting those feelings into useful positive actions. This will lead one to be a healthier and more successful person.
In a recent interview with Olympic United States basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski, an incredible viewpoint on ego was discussed. In speaking about his team, Coach K said, “I don’t believe in the expression leave your egos at the door. I want them to bring their egos in and when we leave that room, we go out with a collective ego.”
Wouldn’t it be a great accomplishment if every company could walk out with a “collective ego?” Creating a winning environment, where everyone is a contributor to the goal to win as a team.
Kim Zoller is an author, speaker and recognized expert in business protocol, communication, personal branding, leadership development and presentation skills. For more information, visit www.idimage.com or contact Kim at 214.361.2687 or email@example.com.