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Ego-free leadership

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Many of us have worked for an ego-driven boss, the type that takes all the credit for our contributions to a piece of work. Their behaviour prioritises power, prestige, recognition or reward. That kind of boss is what we would describe as a ‘REAL’ – Rational, Ego-based, As-usual Leader.

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These bosses are dinosaurs, out of step with the needs of today’s workforce who require a very different type of leader, one who is not consumed by their own ego.

We hear increasingly about the impact that AI, machine learning and other technical advances like driverless vehicles will have on jobs.  We’re headed for another step change, another industrial revolution of sorts…

REAL leaders

To cope with such disruption, companies will need to be radical in their strategy and its execution. At the same time, Millennials are demanding fairness, whilst time and time again unethical work practices are being exposed and are heavily impacting the bottom line of perpetrators. Using a different REAL, leaders now need to be Radical, Ethical, Authentic Leaders.

There is no place for ego as it is more important than ever that people follow and trust those who are in a leadership role.  Successful people will lead beyond their ego, a term known as being transpersonal.  They need to be transpersonal leaders. These people make decisions not only based on rational thinking, but they also acknowledge where their intuition, instinct and insights are leading them. They go even beyond that, bringing into their consciousness, their ethics, values and judgement.  Importantly, they can identify the stakeholders in their system that need to benefit from the decisions they make and they place their own interests subservient to that greater good.

Transpersonal leader

To become a transpersonal leader there’s a middle step that senior executives need to master, becoming a Robust, Emotionally, Aware Leader: one who is emotionally intelligent and practiced in the different leadership styles that generate and retain followers, no matter how radical a direction they pursue. Here are eight easy steps to developing transpersonal leadership:

  1. Reflect and become more self-aware of who we are, our emotions and how we behave
  2. Be more aware of those we lead and be curious to understand how they function
  3. Increase our range of leadership styles and associated behaviours so we can act appropriately in all situations
  4. Understand the way we behave impacts the organisation and determines whether it builds a performance-enhancing culture
  5. Take the time to understand our purpose and what drives us
  6. Recognise our core values and how we can bring them to full-consciousness in everything we do
  7. Acknowledging whether we are using rational thinking, instinct, intuition, insights or values to lead to the best decision-making and judgement
  8. Manage our ego to lead better in the interests of all stakeholders

Ego free leadership is a release from the shackles of self-interest, a place where better decisions can be made for better reasons, with better outcomes.


By Greg Young, Chief Executive, LeaderShape Global

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