Ego can be used to describe a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Synonyms for ego include pride, self-esteem, self-regard and self-respect. Although ego can be used to denote a negative personal trait it’s a necessary attribute for those who strive to inspire and lead. Ego is usually found in abundance among numerous entrepreneurs. Problems can arise when a leader’s ego dominates issues or actions. Jeff Haden writes: “Ego is necessary and important because it does the work to assemble your personality. It manages your fragile identity while you figure out who you are. It protects you from the onslaught of societal expectations and motivates you to work hard and achieve great things.”
When a leader’s ego becomes dominant it can lead to problems especially in the franchise industry – which is built on relationships among the franchisor and its franchisees.
The following are indications of a leader’s ego getting in the way:
- New ideas are resisted especially when introduced by a subordinate or franchisee
- Prematurely criticizing someone else’s ideas without considering their value
- Often taking it personally when someone disagrees with their ideas
For a franchise leader to suppress and control his or her ego, they should:
- Listen to franchisees and subordinates. Seek answers to important questions
- Engage with franchisees and others and display interest in them and their results
- Identify and work to develop new leaders. Mentor others on how it is done. Make good and timely decisions
- Respect and encourage franchisees and subordinates
- Display enthusiasm when interacting with your employees and exhibit a positive attitude
Those that lead others possess an ego that drives them to success. Ego can exist in varying degrees. Those who start franchises and rise to lead franchise companies are driven by an ego that the average person doesn’t have. However, if a leader’s ego is not controlled it can lead to failure and disappointment.