Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Ego: A leadership perspective

The biggest opponent to being an effective leader is oneself. We mostly hear about the id, ego and super ego based on the Sigmund Freud’s (psychoanalyst) structural model of the mind (Carducci, 2009).  The Id is considered a person’s ability to function in the reality. The Ego is defined as a person’s need to meet the needs and desires of their Id by operating within principles they considered reality (p. 84).  The Superego is the chamber in which a person’s moral standards lay. For example, a person who operates solely in the Id can be considered impulsive, a person who operates solely in the Superego can be considered a very moral person such as a television evangelist; and a person who operates solely within the Ego can be considered rigid and unable to be spontaneous. In regards to leadership the ego is something that most people operate in. Many people want to be a great leader, but have fears that prohibit them from being an effective leader. Even in the mist of one searching to become a better leader, one’s ego may hinder this growth because it may want to take control because it is trying to deal with the natural world around them (the Id). As a leader, whether a Fortune 500 executive, hometown leader, community activist, independent business owners, or so forth, it is imperative that one remain balance in all three with the Superego being the foundation. More so, instead of living a life with the Id (natural impulses) leading, it is essential for the development of one’s life to be that of the Superego (moral standards). Many operate with Id instead of the Superego because of what is in front of them, but it is the things that others do not see that should guide their leadership skills, abilities and motivation. (More to come).

~ Ronnie O'Brien Rice

Carducci, B. J. (2009). The psychology of personality: Viewpoints, research, and applications (2nd ed.). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

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