If you’ve ever felt that your employees should feel privileged to work for you, or that they should be paying you for training because of how much you’d be giving them, I’m talking to you.
You’re the owner. You’re the one who came up with the genius idea that your company was founded on. Yours is the signature on the paychecks. You’re a pretty important person to your company and your employees, as is any business owner. Without you, the company wouldn’t exist and the employees wouldn’t get paid. Their jobs wouldn’t exist.
If any of that stuff is going to your head, you have a serious problem on your hands, and your company is hurting as a result. A major ego is a problem in any company, and it’s a bigger problem when it’s at the top. Your employees feel your ego when you enter a room, and will exit if it leaves no room for them. They will lose respect for you when you place yourself above them. They will decrease their performance if you make them feel small. Great leaders have no room to be arrogant.
I had a former employer who once told me (and I quote), “Most people don’t even have a job in today’s economy. You should feel blessed that I’ve given you the opportunity to work for my company.” Nope. I didn’t feel blessed to have to share a conference room with his ego. And I let him know by packing my things and leaving his company. I took my whole department with me.
Again, there is no room in a quality organization for a large ego. If that ego is at the top, well, we all know what happens to anything that’s top-heavy. It winds up toppling. Legendary leadership trainer Jack Welch has some advice on putting away your ego when it comes to hiring employees that are smarter or more talented than you. Don’t worry, he says they’ll make you look great.