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Apr 22, 2014Company & Culture

There is No Value in Ego

There is No Value in Ego

Winning organizations are built on successful employees and their ability to work as a team. For any company to hit its 2014 goals requires everyone to work together as a cohesive unit and move in the same direction. Just one person out of step can throw the entire team out of whack, bring morale down, productivity to a halt and cost a company millions. What can stop a team from achieving and throw it into chaos so quickly? In a word- egos.

At OneSource Virtual, egos are not something I take lightly. In fact, egos kill teams. Take the 1980 Olympic hockey team as an example. Herb Brooks built a team that would work together toward a common goal- beating the Russians who had gone undefeated since the 1964 games.

Coach Brooks turned away some of the best individual players for players he felt would work better within the team. Why? He didn’t want one player’s ego to kill the team spirit. He made it clear there was no room for ego, only dedication and teamwork. It didn’t matter who scored the goals. It mattered that the team was successful. And they took the gold medal against all odds.

Create a Strong Team Culture

Building your company team is no different when it comes to ego. This absolutely must come from leadership down.

Ego Says I’m Bigger Than the Team

  • Employees have to know it’s okay to make mistakes, AND it’s okay to admit it. Working through a problem toward a common goal to find the right answer builds great teams and creates success. Let your employees know it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, it matters that you find the right path together.
  • Get the buy-in. It doesn’t matter if you have the best idea when you’re team is not 100% invested in it. Without that buy in, you will have players going rogue. If you go with the option your team is behind, they will work together. No hurdle will be too high, and no barrier to great to conquer.
  • Know the difference between winning and being right. You are trained your whole life to be uncomfortable with losing, and that successful people push through obstacles to win. But there is a difference between pushing through to win, and continuing to push because you have to be right. Check your ego at the door.
  • Remember, success is often measured in small numbers. Mike Eruzione, the Captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey team, said, “Had my winning shot been one inch further over, no one would know who I am.” Very small differences can often have significant impacts on opportunity and future momentum. Most believe that the difference between success and failure is a large gap, however often the difference is only 5% to 10% in several key areas. Don’t look back and find yourself saying, “Had we been 5% more effective in just 1-2 areas, we could have changed the game.” Take ego out of the equation today and give your team the winning edge.
  • Transparency is key. If you have a team member who is bringing their ego to the table and creating the wrong atmosphere, deal with it directly and quickly. Transparent conversations are important in letting employees know that unity must be brought back to the team.

By making sure egos have no place in your organization, you ensure your entire company will come together as one cohesive unit. How do you face egos on your team? What would you add to this topic? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.