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Part I: People, Profit, Politics, and Process > Ego, Fear, and Competition

Chapter 7. Ego, Fear, and Competition

Ego, fear, and competition are three powerful, two-sided engines. They can move you to great heights or to low, lonely bottoms. If you take the time to contemplate the virtues and flaws of each, you might conclude that it is better to downplay these drivers in your life. A business environment will often stir these ingredients to the forefront as necessities for survival, if not achievement. With a little work you will understand the negative connotations better and be able to tweak them just enough to make some peace with these commonplace impulses.

Ego is a powerful force because it ostensibly pushes a person to win. Ego propels a person to be out in front, to have the spotlight, to be known as “the best” and to be the magnet at a meeting or a party. Ego and pride do not easily allow a person to fail or to seem weak in front of others. Ego can commandeer territorialism and lead to exclusive behavior. Ego can hurt others as the egotist dominates, controls and hoards information and contacts to keep the power position. Ego blinds you to the truth and robs you of the opportunity to see new roads to success. Ego could lead you to accept positions that you might ultimately dislike or not excel in, purely because of the title or the invitation and because ego can strip you of objectivity.


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