Two Egos Clash – A Recipe for Leadership Disaster


Check your ego at the door. The ego can be the great success inhibitor. It can kill opportunities, and it can kill success.

— Dwayne Johnson

Our ego often turns into our greatest stumbling block. When you get two egos battling for superiority, what you end up with is a disaster. Ego prevents us from seeing things the way they really are, from seeing our true selves, and seeing the value of others.

Who is better?

Our ego likes to convince us that we are better than others; we are smarter, better looking, and more skilled. Two things to remember here: first, no one is better than anyone else; second, it does not matter if one person is stronger in one area and another in a different area. What really matters is that it takes individuals with diverse strengths and experiences working together to achieve success. When we get caught up in a battle of egos it shuts down all collaboration and cooperation, leaving us on our own to try to succeed. This is a recipe for failure.

What about building relationships?

Whether business or personal, life is all about the relationships we develop. Like it or not, relationships matter and ego is an effective relationship destroyer. When there is a battle of two egos, not only is the relationship of those two individuals impacted, but also the relationships of everyone who gets caught in the middle being pressured to take sides.

Whose interests are being served?

If you ever want to be an effective leader, you must serve the interests of your followers. When you get into a battle of egos, your interests are the only ones you are concerning yourself with. Our ego leads us to believe we must win at all costs; many times it ends up costing our followers what would have served them the best.

No One Wins

Ego is a deceiver. In the battle of two egos, no one wins. To avoid the ensuing disaster caused by the battle of two egos, keep your ego in check. Remember that no one individual is any better than another; we all have strengths and weaknesses. Never underestimate the value of relationships; no one succeeds alone. Focus your energy on the right priorities; whose interests are you serving? Get out of your own way; recognize the damage that your ego, left unchecked, can cause; and start winning.

Dr. Liz Stincelli
LIZ is passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. She focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. Liz offers 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. She serves on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. She has also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, Westminster College.


  1. Our egos get triggered when we project our own shadow and self judgement on to the other. Observing ones self and seeing what is being triggered helps us to step back and hopefully pivot toward seeing the other more clearly. Communication thrives when our ego steps back and we listen from the perspective of the other.
    It seems to be a life long process for me – always learning.

  2. The ego is part of us, it is also our personality and must therefore be accepted and integrated, rather than fought. We should have the habit of observing our behavior in order to be able to grasp the continuous interferences of the ego which must be identified, analyzed, and then controlled and transmuted with love.
    If we can improve (by training listening skills, implementing empathy, trusting what we do and saying, smiling, using good manners, learning to manage anger, etc.) the quality of our interpersonal relationships , all aspects of our life will benefit them. This in turn will increase self-confidence and a sense of general well-being. When our interactions with others are constructive, we feel more motivated and happier.

  3. A fantastic reminder Liz about the pure strength in forging strong relationships that focus on collaboration and cooperation – which almost always results in some very honest discussions about the task at hand!



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