Most of us have come across someone, or many someones, in our office lives who have had an ego. It may have been about something small, large, or completely insignificant, but that’s really not the point. People with egos are simply people who have power complexes and they are bad for business. Let’s get into the dirt.
The Person With The Key Holds The Power
Let’s start with the small type of power grab that can cause a chain reaction of problems. Recently, Digitiv was to host a Small Business Networking Event. Our team put in a ton of work to build the guest list from the ground up.
We went as far as to engage our local community association to help us announce the event to their email list. Which they did, and it was incredibly helpful. We also wanted to post a flyer on the community board in a local park that is surrounded by bars and restaurants. We are pro multi-channel marketing. Even a flyer can drive participation.
Well, the community board is locked. One person has the key and it turns out they happened to be on vacation when we made the request to hang the flyer. Long story short, the flyer never went up before the event, in fact, I hear the original flyer ended up in the key holders trash bin.
The point, is the person who controls the key believes only they can do so. There was no back up plan for a situation like ours during their vacation. They more or less made it clear as a small business in the community paying to be a part of their association, we really don’t matter as much as their ability to dictate who, when and what goes onto the community board. So much for the community part of the association.
If I Keep Talking, I'm The Smartest Person
Another, and much more troublesome type of egomaniac is the one who needs to be the smartest person in the room. Well, maybe the building.
This individual usually isn’t a dummy by any sense of the word, but they often don’t know nearly as much as they claim. The goal here is to ensure they are an authority, especially when leading a team. They’ll make themselves the information gatekeeper, creator of unnecessary processes, and will serve as the bottleneck for anything their team needs, or is trying, to accomplish.
This person often is also acting out of fear. Allowing anyone else to have an opinion or be right can be devastating to their ego. It also can cause them to jump to worst-case-scenario situations in their head. Is this person trying to replace me? Generally, this is not the case. But what I have experienced, is that organizations will find ways to eventually silo this person out of important work, or terminate them because they are too painful to handle.
Unless you work alone, you have to find a way to get along with other human beings. You’re also going to be much more successful if you recognize that it’s not about taking all of the credit or glory for yourself, but spreading it around with your team… even if something was truly your idea. Letting others in to support you makes an organization run smoothly. It also makes people want to work with you.
These are just two examples of power hungry, egomaniacs. Share your own experiences with us in the comments below.