Reining In Your Ego

This week's trek is inspired by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter's research on the egoless leader.

Ever thought of yourself as a big deal? 

You aren't alone. Whether it is through Instagram, Twitter, or your role at work, many opportunities exist these days to reinforce how amazing/capable/brilliant you are.

When it comes to working with others, though, focusing solely on yourself is not the way to win. In fact, through a survey with 30K leaders Hougaard and Carter discovered that compassion for others was one of the most important traits a successful leader should possess.

Your Reining in the Ego Exercise

What It Is
A 10-minute exercise to bring more compassion and understanding to others.

Why We Love It 
We spend a lot of time thinking about ourselves - how we can nail that presentation, win that quarterly award, or show everyone around us how smart/fabulous/right we are. While all of that is gloriously self-serving, no person wants to follow someone who is only in the game for themselves. This exercise helps you focus more on others and how you, as a leader, can better serve them.

How It Works
1. Set aside five minutes right before your next meeting with a coworker, direct report, client, or your child. (We know it's probably not a meeting if it's with your kid, but we've heard it still works!)

2. Start off by closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths to clear your thoughts. Then, ask yourself:
- Who am I meeting with next?
- What matters to them? 
- What challenges does s/he have that I can help with?

3. Make a commitment to bring this new perspective to your meeting. Then, use it to provide this person with one thing that will better support his/her needs.

4. After your meeting, take a few minutes to reflect on how things went. Were you able to create a new connection with this person? Do you have a better understanding of who they are and how you can help them?

Want to dig deeper into this topic?
  • To hear more from Hougaard and Carter about their research and how they structure this exercise, check out this podcast.
  • To hear John Mackey's take on the value of emotional intelligence, watch this video.
  • To learn more about why emotional intelligence is important for success, check this out from FastCo
Shout. It. Out. To Erin Hersey for her next-level exercise crafting skills!
Shout. It. Back. To treks@lifetrekkers.me if you have praise or gripes about this trek or random thoughts about Life Trekkers.
Here's what your fellow trekkers have to say about past treks:

"When I started envy advantage I didn't realize how much envy was sapping positive energy in my life. The easy exercise offered a moment for powerful reflection that would have otherwise been unattended to."
- Ian Manheimer, VP Strategy @ TCN
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Shankar Desai