So Sad to Watch Great Leaders Sabotage Themselves with their Egos


Oh No!  That tricky ego at play yet again!  So here is the scenario.  Three great leaders all under the influence of ego.  One of these leaders is actually the President of the USA, another an esteemed Harvard Professor and the third a dedicated and gifted officer of the law.   And yet, with all their brilliance and talent, each one fell prey to their ego creating a truly unnecessary series of events that did not benefit them in any way.  In actual fact, they each sabotaged their higher goals by not managing their egos.

EGO At Work

Here’s how the ego works.  At a very tender age we discover that our authentic, spirited self is frowned upon by others who tell us that we should be what they want us to be and not who we truly are because this doesn’t work for them!   So we develop the ego self.  This is a second personality which we use whenever we think we need to do and say things that will get us the approval we seek.  Then we reach adulthood and we often can’t tell which is the real me and which is the ego me.  And for the rest of our lives every time we feel a sense of personal slight and think we need to assert our point of view, out comes the ego and we act in ways that make us small-minded and petty, self-righteous and arrogant.

The truly great leader is one who knows how to control and manage their ego.   Or let me express this another way.  The truly great leader is one whose spirit of openness and balance is stronger than their ego.  Great leaders do not feel the need to behave as though their point of view is the only point of view that has any validity.  Polarizing points of view is the trick of the ego.  

Spirited Leaders

Spirited leaders understand that life is not made up of polarities – despite what society tells us from the time we are born.  Leaders with true spirit know that in any situation there is no right or wrong, good or bad, should or should not.  Instead they look for the balance in all events and all situations.  Great philosophers have called this balance a ‘divine order’.  Those who study quantum physics call this the ‘law of the universe.’  No matter what you call it, the truth is that great leaders consciously attempt to look at situations through the lens of their spirit and not their ego.

Great leaders demonstrate another trait.  They have a heightened self-awareness which very quickly lets them sense that their ‘ego is in the driver’s seat’ and that this will not have a good ending.   And finally, the moment they sense this, they quickly apply control and strength of character to manage their ego and put it ‘in the passenger seat.’

To give Obama his due, he did eventually say,  I could have calibrated those words differently. I told this to Sergeant Crowley. I continue to believe that there was an overreaction in pulling professor Gates out of his home and to the station. I also continue to believe, based on what I’ve heard that professor Gates overreacted as well.

Still some ego in there but also a good dose of spirit!

The President went on to say, My hope is that as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what’s called a teachable moment. Where all of us — instead of pumping up the volume — spend a little more time listening to each other…



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