A Selfless Leader

By Eva Nadja Castañeda

Three(3) years ago, when I was facilitating a career symposium from my previous job, I invited one industry partner , a leader who is already retiring in 5 years. During the talk , he said,”My dream is not to become a leader , but for all of us to become leaders. When I see you doing the lead and motivate other people , my dream has been fulfilled” I realized , this is the kind of leader I wanted to be. Most leaders are vulnerable to selfishness because they typically earn more than others and this benefit, influence their actions and motives such as prestige, greed, power and ego that makes them always feel right.

From the article ,” Ego is the Enemy of a Good Leadership” by Rasmus Hougard and Jacqueline Carter says, There are some , if not few people who rose in the ranks acquires more power. With that, people are more likely to want to please us by listening more attentively, agreeing more, and laughing at our jokes. All of these tickle the ego. And when the ego is tickled, it grows. David Owen, the former British Foreign Secretary and a neurologist, and Jonathan Davidson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University, call this the “ hubris syndrome” , which they define as a “disorder of the possession of power, particularly power which has been associated with overwhelming success, held for a period of years.”

An unchecked ego can warp our perspective or twist our values. In the words of Jennifer Woo, CEO and chair of The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, Asia’s largest luxury retailer, “Managing our ego’s craving for fortune, fame, and influence is the prime responsibility of any leader.” When we’re caught in the grip of the ego’s craving for more power, we lose control. Ego makes us susceptible to manipulation; it narrows our field of vision; and it corrupts our behavior, often causing us to act against our values.

Ego prevents us from learning, from seeing the truth and acknowledging our mistakes or shortcomings. This is detrimental not just to ourselves and others but to our organization. Consequently, we lose the trust and confidence of the people we lead and ultimately, our clients which we intend to become part of our heroic community. This fails our mission.

As leaders , we must deny ourselves by instilling a selfless attitude so we can develop extraordinary and heroic leaders. This is more phenomenal than authority and power. As Mr. Neil Sison aka Accountant in Pajamas of Sison Corillo Parone & Co , Moores Rowland Philippines as well as the founder of Professionals of the future always say, “ I cannot be a Hero, only WE can be Heroes


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