• Olivier S.E. Courtois

Is Ego Good Or Bad?

Updated: Mar 27

Ego is often considered to be the root of all evils. It is presented as the opposite of good values like empathy, generosity, collaboration, kindness. Politicians are often depicted as the ultimate version of evil, only driven by their own interests and ego. Yet how would the lives of Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, have looked like without a good ego. Who would spend his or her life trying to change the lives of others or of one’s country with no deep inner conviction that he or she is THE one who should do that?

Of course, the ego is not the only factor in the equation. Generosity is another one. A real, deep inner desire to do good, to bring something to others, to make things or people better. Ego with no generosity leads to soulless ambition, greed, and only generates bad outcomes, including ultimately for the perpetrator. But generosity with no ego does not reach out to many and has limited effects. When authentic generosity meets a controlled ego, miracles can happen.

It is a powerful formula to transform lives or the world for the better. As leaders, let’s keep an eye on the monitoring screen and make sure we adjust both cursors continuously to keep the mix right.

#leadership #ego

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