To Ponder: Talking About Ego
“If there’s anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.
– The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams
While we’re talking about Ego, there’s something I see a little too often that simultaneously drives people crazy, while bloating out too many projects and programs.
A Change Leader’s Ego.
Here’s a simple example of how this can creep into our day to day change. I was having a conversation with a friend. He and his company had been developing a piece of software for the last 18 months. It had been a long, hard slog, but the end was in sight.
I felt for my friend. I was vicariously both excited and exhausted for him… That was until he told me something that absolutely blew my mind.
“Yeah, most of what is left I am doing for me, the customer result will largely be the same”.
As far as the customers were concerned – that product was READY. Yet, my friend was holding back release by a further 4-5 months to build in features just for him.
And that’s the thing here. My friend has a vision he is pursuing. But he is, against his own interests, adding additional time and cost to the end result.
This is ‘The Ego Component’: The elements of the change kept in because the change leader wants them, and not because they add any value to the customers of the end vision.
And for everyone other than the change leader – this is a VERY painful source of waste.
Our own visions are best realised when we think not of what we achieve, but what we can now help others achieve.
In other words – not adding things just because we want them.