Fuel Your Reinvention: Check Your Ego at the Door

| By: Craig Fulton

You all know the type. The ones who love to hear themselves talk, second-guess everyone and everything, and never admit when they’re wrong. Those so full of ego that it seems impossible to work with them for even a minute longer.

When ego enters the room, it’s kryptonite to reinvention. It creates blinders for continued growth by stifling creativity and silencing constructive feedback. Here’s how we prevent this in our company.

Empower Everyone

First, we refer to everyone as a colleague, not a manager or employee, because we want to make sure everyone knows they are an equal part of the team. We also recognize that we share roots with our partners as small business owners and strive to stay humble by remembering the challenges and obstacles we overcame to get where we are.

Be Courageous, Not Egotistical

As business owners, it can be a struggle to differentiate between ego and the kind of courage it takes to make risky decisions. It’s been difficult for me as well, but I’ve learned that ego and courage really aren’t the same thing.

I think of courage as speaking up, sharing your thoughts, and taking necessary risks to benefit your business. It becomes ego when the focus shifts to “all about me” mode–not listening to anyone because you think you’re right.

So how do you make sure you’re leaving plenty of room for reinvention and not taking courage too far? Start here:
  • Use “we” instead of “I”
  • Empower everyone
  • Listen to what others have to say; don’t lose your best people because they feel silenced
  • Respect others always; creativity and wisdom are packaged in many different forms
  • Admit when you’re wrong and be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new
  • Remain humble; remember, you are here to serve
  • Never get complacent; you don’t want to end up like Circuit City or Blockbuster

Keep your reinvention heartbeat going strong by not letting your ego derail you from remembering what’s truly important. When your focus is on a humble, open-minded business model, you’ll be poised to take full advantage of every opportunity to take your company farther, faster.