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The problem with ego-driven executives

This is the first time I question one of Steve Jobs’ always valued quotes and advices. It takes result-driven people to know the results they need and how they can be delivered. But today we deal more and more with ego-driven people.

Many managers today are no longer driven by results and the progress of the organizations they are responsible for. It is their own ego which decides on their actions. They think in short-term victory often combined with the urge to make as much money as possible and as quickly as possible. Today’s strategies developed by many executives are no longer strategies. Growth is not real growth. It is the result of cost-cuttings, very often to secure bonus payments.

Don’t fool yourselves, if managers run from meeting to meeting to engage themselves in endless discussions, when do they actually take time to be productive and creative? When can they give a strategy which has a clear goal and reflects direct measures to achieve exactly this goal a thorough thought? The work is done by subordinates and many managers don’t recognize that. They take the credit because they need to feed their ego. Guess what, that’s not what they were hired for!

The abuse of power and management by fear is what many co-workers suffer from. Why have personal feelings become so much more important than operational results? When did we allow managers to put their personal sensitivities first? Whereas the business world is trying to convince us that professionalism and rational approaches to problems or, as we call them today, challenges are the way to go. Who defined this business world? If we show emotions we are considered weak and unprofessional. Well, there is a message to those executives:

“You are applying double-standards because you are the ones who are driven by your emotions, you are not walking your talk and you have a lot of your own problems to solve! Let your co-workers accomplish the results they skillfully interpret from your alleged strategies and listen to their expertise. Let them shine once in a while and you will actually be recognized as a good leader!”

During 25 years of working with international corporations and countless executives I have not met many people who have sincerely and sustainably impressed me. Unfortunately! Too many are hiding their insecurity and personal as well as professional weaknesses by abusing their power and running a management style of fear. I have to say, some of them, would not even have to do that. They are actually good enough and could be more laid back. But they are not working on their self-awareness and they are unsure of what they want to accomplish in life. The ones, who have impressed me, have always been those, who know their strengths and weaknesses and strive to become better people. They are the ones, who are aware of their values and are driven by them. And they don’t hesitate to show emotions and appreciation.

“The problem is that self-absorbed managers only see the faults of others but, they are color-blind to their own. “

It has never been my goal in my professional environment to be everybody’s darling. My one and only priority is that people recognize the high quality of my work. My values – honesty, empathy, and generosity – are my drivers in every action I take. I say no, if necessary and I don’t hesitate to point my finger to where potential is hidden. The ones who appreciate this and value my professional expertise and my personality are my customers. I can only encourage people to be true to themselves and not to take themselves too importantly. Understand that the reason to abuse power is insecurity. Separate people from the topic ahead of you and focus on the result.

The world is changing fast and the opportunities linked to these changes are endless and great. I am interested in participating in these opportunities. I am driven to accomplish goals and results. I continue my quest to find like-minded partners.

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