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Quiz:
LEADERS, IS YOUR EGO AN ASSET OR LIABILITY?

(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)

Ego: a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Often a negative connotation is associated with ego:  My leader has an ego, her ego gets in the way or, we need less not more egos around here. The issue is not whether a person has or is lacking an ego—we all have one. As a leader the issue is perhaps, is my ego helping or hurting me, damaging or building relationships in my organizations, a benefit or roadblock to my career?

David Marcum and Steven Smith argue that if out of balance, too much or too little ego is a liability for a leader. Currently 63 percent of business people say ego negatively impacts work performance on an hourly or daily basis, while an additional 31 percent say it happens weekly.[i]

Although not exhaustive this quiz will help you understand if your ego is an asset or liability.  Unbiased self-evaluation is tough; if it helps, select the response that those who know you would say is “typical of you.”

Would others say you?

1. State your positions in a self-assured, positive and confident way without being aggressive, dogmatic or pushy?
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
2.  Are charismatic, you can influence others yet are caring enough about others to be open to different opinions and not manipulate others to obey blindly?
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
3. Are determined, strong-willed and don’t give up easily on what you believe in, however when presented with differing views, flexible enough to change your position.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
4.  Are diplomatic when presented with two opposing views or courses of action, seeking the best resolution for all concerned not the politically expedient.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
5.   Are courageous and contemplative, able to support both popular and unpopular decisions. Willing to stand up and be counted.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
6.  Are independent, able to operate alone when needed yet open to consultation and guidance from others.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
7. Are committed and dedicated to doing your best without being domineering or overbearing with your staff and others in your organization.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
8. Clearly communicate where you stand on issues without expecting your positons to be seen as a dictate.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
9.  Are direct and straightforward as well as considerate of others views and opinions.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
10. Are realistic and pragmatic while not accepting a business as usual approach.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
   
11. Are self-confident in your personal judgment and abilities without sacrificing your humanness.
  A. This is not me (1)
  B. Sometimes this is me (3)
  C. This is definitely me (5)
  

Your score:

11-21 Your ego is a leadership liability.

You probably are very frustrated. What you do most times is either misinterpreted or generates a negative response from others. Ego is a doubled edge sword, too much or too little is not effective. Reread each of the statements and ask have I brought a sense of humility and humanness to each scenario?  If not, how can I balance expressing my ego with a sense of humility and awareness of other’s needs?  You can manage your ego; it will take a concentrated effort on your part.

21-43 Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.

In some situations your ego is in balance, in others not. Questions you need to consider:

1.      Am I being consistent in all situations?

2.      Why in certain situations do I feel the need to be in total control?

3.      Which of the eleven statements did I score a “1”? What do I need to do differently to be more humble and humane to move my score to a “5”?

4.      Whose feedback will I seek to affirm that I am acting more in balance?

45-55 Your ego is a leadership asset.

Your humility keeps your ego in balance; self-confident but not self-absorbed; direct not dictatorial; strong willed not inflexible. Congratulations your natural style or concerted effort to manage your ego will pay off in exceptional results and career achievement.

Using this quiz as a Developmental Discussion Tool.

1.      Select and assess 5 out of the 11 behaviors which in your mind make a difference—they are the most important for your position.

2.      Ask your manager and four of your most forthright direct reports to also select the 5 most critical behaviors for your positon and assess how they would describe you.

3.      Compare your assessment with those of your manager and direct reports—discuss similarities, gaps or differences in these assessments—when, where and how your views are similar or different.

4.      Jointly define the implications of your increased effectiveness, growth and development.

About the Quiz

By, Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D., CEO, the Center for Coaching and Mentoring, Inc., a firm devoted to training and consultation in Coaching, Leadership, Mentoring and Team Work. Author of numerous books, articles and quizzes listed on our web site http://coachingandmentoring.com

For more information call (918) 333-6609 or contact me at matt@coachingandmentoring.com


[i]  Marcum, David and Smith, Steven. Egonomics: What makes ego our greatest asset or most expensive liability? Fireside a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. New York, NY. 2007.  Pp. 20.


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Contact Matt Starcevich at matt@coachingandmentoring.com