The 8 Rules of Play- No Egos, Thank you

by William A Hindle

I recognize that we all have egos and that leaders and executives are renowned for often being egotistical, alpha dogs.  As a leader, to some extent, you need to be.  You need unusually high levels of self-esteem and confidence to withstand the inevitable criticism, have the conviction to plot a path from point A to point B, and convince others to follow you on the journey. 

When the final decision is in your hands, you must believe in yourself.  If you don’t, then why should any of your employees?  So, you must be confident in who you are and the direction you’re going.  You need to let your ego come out a little bit.

It’s a delicate balancing act, though. Ego can drive you forward but you can’t let it trip you up!  You need deep reserves of emotional intelligence to be aware and manage it. 

One of the dangers of power and leadership is that we can begin to believe that we are more intelligent than everybody else and we know best. That’s a massive, massive mistake.  No, you must remain humble, adopting the view that others are more intelligent and focusing on pooling and harnessing their talent and knowledge towards the goal of making the company succeed. 

When you are holding a meeting, for example, that is seeking to solve a problem or develop a product then ego is an unwanted attendee.  I have a saying: “No egos thank you – please leave it at the door. There is a hitching post on the left and water on the right for that devil in you!”   When you have a group of talented intelligent people vying to become alpha-dog, egos can be a problem and totally kills the creativity! This is why I developed The 8 Rules of Play.   

These rules hang on the door of every meeting room to stop egos from becoming the poison to creativity.

  1. Support each other’s ideas as if they are yours:

Synonymous with “do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.” 

2.  Mutual respect for each other.  

                  You must believe that everyone brings a unique, valuable opinion.

3. Give your opinion but save your judgments.

                   God did not die and leave you in charge.  No judgments.

4. You must believe that the wisdom of the group is wiser than the wisdom of one.

With proper handling, the group will select the best idea and develop it with the best chance of success.

5. We, Not I

All efforts must be for the benefit of the group.  When the group succeeds, so will you. Please do not promote “me” at the expense of the group.        

6. Allow yourself to be criticized.  Ask yourself, what am I missing?

7. You will never know how much you can accomplish until you forget about who takes the credit. 

8. Be Humble  

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