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Being CEO: Gift and Curse

A CEO’s pride can be either a company’s greatest asset or greatest weakness. So how does company ensure it functions as the former and not the latter?

Many small and private of Japanese companies, the CEO or the company owner want to gather all the information and making decisions on his own. He wants total power and control on every situation. In the beginning of business, the management method can be effective and CEOs tend to say, ” If you want something done, do it yourself.” However as the company grow in size and complexity, this method has loose its effectiveness.

A CEO cannot observe every thing that they see and make decision based on what they see. More accurately, in a complicated situation, CEO should be saying, “If you want something done, fine a trusted and skill person, has experience and want to do it. I am only one candidate.”

Open sourcing might be the most efficient and cost effective way to help CEOs curb their egos and ensure that they leverage the best talent at their disposal.


Now, lets talk about ego. If you having ego, it is not bad at all actually. Ego initiate one’s drive to invent products and that is usually how business start. Ego can encourages achievement. It drive people to try new things and also overcome setbacks. CEO with strong ego mostly are decisive and courageous and often have clarity of direction and focus.

But executives might not have the expertise or experience to make the highest-quality and best decisions. For example, their particular backgrounds might not give them the ability to evaluate certain proposals effectively. They may not be in a position to gather enough or appropriate information to decide on specific issues. And if they’re too proud to admit this, then they may not seek the advice they need. And because they hide information and do things without consulting others, they could lose trust in people—and people lose trust in them! A loss of trust could lead to other losses as well, like missed opportunities from front-line, open discussions. This leads to front-line disengagement.


There are 4 warning signs can expose an executive that has destructive ego that keeping organization from opening up.

1. Make improper comparisons

Some people likes to compare their ideas to others. If the comparison is purposely to learn, it can be worthwhile. But, comparing in a competitive manner, or doing so in order to bolster one’s own ego, might not be. Comparing ideas competitively might cause a CEO to miss opportunities that customers are signaling. When the desire to have the “winning” idea gets too strong, one might set inappropriate goals, set goals that are too lofty, or even set goals that are too “safe” . Leader should compare their present self with an image of themselves in future, rather than comparing themselves with other people and most important thing is, let the best ideas win.

2. Being Defensive

Leaders should defend their ideas and opinions with sound reasoning, and accept other ideas presented with similarly good reasoning. They needn’t defend themselves personally. In open organizations, debate should focus on ideas, not people, but having an ego that’s too strong might prevent someone from doing that.

You’ll know you’re too defensive when your pride or reputation is your number first consideration when you’re making an argument, not solving the problem with the best solution. If you are giving single-solution directives rather than encouraging options, you’re being too defensive.

Even though hearing opinions that differ from yours can be difficult, the truth is always better than statements exaggerated, understated, or just plain incorrect.

3. Being the center of attention

As a leader, being the center of attention, they risk blocking out information and ideas from others. Open discussion and collective intelligence outperform the brightest individual nearly every time. With time and experience, confidence grows. The more we know, the more confident we become. When our confidence increases to the point where we think there is little more to learn, we close the door to listening and learning. We become less open.

3. Craving acceptance

Leaders need to remember that people who resist or reject their ideas are only rejecting those ideas, not leaders as people. Everyone should have the right and opportunity to attack your ideas—while at the same time praising you as a person.

Leadership is best reserved for those who don’t crave acceptance from others. When we must have the acceptance of other people, we tend to “play it safe,” hold back, and take fewer risks. And this, in turn, makes us weaker leaders.

How to become more open ?

Step 1: Emotional maturity

The first step toward curbing a destructive ego is achieving emotional maturity because if its successfully achieved, it will open the mind and increase the ability of a person to listen and learn. This maturity allows us to temporarily suspend our opinions and encourage discussion and debate in the best interest of the business, not only ourselves.

CEOs must understand that they know a lot—but not everything. They must be willing to look objectively at situations and find ways to confirm an organization’s situation. This involves finding a difficult balance: When should I ask questions and get information? When should I decide and execute on a decision? When should I stop and listen? When should I talk? To create more open workplaces, we must do what we can to help leaders find this balance and remind them that they don’t know everything.

Step 2: Curiosity

When we created an open minded atmosphere, we need a certain curiosity to actuallt explore others’ ideas. Leading with questions can prevent us from holding tightly to our own ideas and our beliefs. If we are truly curious, our satisfaction with the status quo is actually quite temporary. We soon want to learn, to advance further. We are never finished. We must convince our leaders that they should hold back their opinions while they explore other important possibilities.

Step 3: Determination

Determination that helps you to close the gap between what we think is right and what is really right. But over-determination can lead us to act in blind faith. We must convince leaders that times do change. Insist that your leaders continually confirm that their strategies and beliefs are still most effective and true in the current environment.


You need to become more open. After a leader effectively keeps her or his ego in check, where does he or she begin delegating decisions and problem solving? To find the answer to that question, one must simply explore where value is created. Having maturity, curiosity and determination, our newly-open CEO should be willing to open up that decision-making process and give decision making power and trust to those individuals, whether within the company or outside. The leader’s role should be to support those people and groups, and to create an environment in which they can come up with the solutions that best suit their immediate situations, and the company as a whole—not an environment that lets the CEOs ego spiral out of control.


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