Is there an upside to EGO?

Does talking about the upside of ego sound odd? Isn’t ego a bad thing that motivates bad behaviour? The answer is, not entirely. Of course ego does have a downside, but it has a clear upside also. For example, ego is a powerful motivator. As a result, ego is a key characteristic of high performers in every field you can think of. So being critical of ego is unfair, and can even be self limiting. On the other hand, embracing ego to much can be self limiting also. The key is to recognize the subtle nuances of ego and learn to manage them.

Like so many other things, there is more to ego than meets the eye. High performers understand this, and the best of them have learned to manage their egos. Just as they manage their nervous system, time, dedication, discipline and many other things. High performance is not an accident. Rather, it is the result of persistent purposeful effort. That effort starts with learning to manage human nature, which ego is a part of. And that requires focused learning, just like any other field of study.

Here’s the good news. It’s relatively easy to learn the basics of human nature. We already know much of it. We just don’t view it through a focused and informed lens in our busy day to day lives. The better news is that with this knowledge you can create an environment around you that encourages high performance. In so doing you invest in success. Whether you apply that to yourself, your tribe, your organization, or all of the above, this is an investment that can’t help but pay off.

Below is a link to an article by Jeff Steen of INC magazine, spotlighting Ryan Holiday. In outlining 5 key practices of positive leaders he provides a deeper view of ego. I came across the article on LinkedIn. It was posted by Carol Ring, a thought leader in the workplace culture space. You can find out more about her at, and I encourage you do so.

Meanwhile, here’s a link to this great and insightful article.

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