The L.E.A.D. Mantra

This image from my blog-friend Alex reminded me of a mantra that I embraced back in the late 1980s. I discovered it when meeting with Sherry, my manager and mentor. We were discussing an upcoming meeting and she told me that this was a session where we would have to leave our egos at the door. Now I am positive that Sherry was saying this for my benefit.. I had a huge ego back then (not that it is so small these days) and I needed to be reminded that I have two ears and only one mouth. Sherry on the other hand seemed to exemplify a leader who had their ego in check - I learned a lot about leadership from her.

As a result of that session I began to formulate a bit of a mantra.. it went like this: To L.E.A.D I need to Leave Ego At Door. I imagine that I seldom achieved that goal.. not sure that I really understood humility back then.. but the sentiment is a good one. Ego can be a healthy part of leadership.. it will bring a bit of positive motivation and an orientation toward goals. On the flip-side ego can take a leader to some pretty dark places where the motivating focus of life and career is self. When interacting with others it is always a good idea to leave your ego at the door.. especially when you want to lead.

I think that the things that have most helped me conquer my ego have been my failures - both in life and in career. In these things I have found humility (sometimes humiliation) and have been able to see myself through different eyes. It seems like the difficult parts of my life have most helped me to understand what it means to humble myself. In a sense humility is not an option in life - you either humble yourself or you are eventually humbled.. and often that humbling feels a bit like humiliation.

How about you? Any stories to share about the influences of ego on your life?


  1. Hi Bob,

    I like your L.E.A.D. mantra. Very appropriate too :)

  2. Powerful last sentence.
    I think I will share that mantra with my small group Bible study. It says so much.
    Thanks Bob.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply. You can click here to see my comment policy.