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The Dangers Of A Big Ego

This article is more than 6 years old.

With guest host Sacha Pfeiffer.

Ego. A new book says that in business and in life, “ego is the enemy.” Is there really no such a thing as a healthy ego?

A screengrab of a YouTube video featuring author and media strategist, Ryan Holiday. (Via YouTube)
A screengrab of a YouTube video featuring author and media strategist, Ryan Holiday. (Via YouTube)

Ego is the most common impediment to our success, according to a new book. It blinds us to our faults. It makes recovering from failures difficult. It keeps us from trying new things because we’re afraid of failing. So how do you manage your ego and balance confidence with humility — especially in a world that encourages self-promotion? This hour On Point, whether a healthy ego is even possible, or if ego is simply our enemy. -- Sacha Pfeiffer


Ryan Holiday, media strategist, media columnist and editor-at-large for the New York Observer. Author of the new book, “Ego is the Enemy.” Also author of “Trust Me, I’m Lying,” “Growth Hacker Marketing” and “The Obstacle is the Way.” (@RyanHoliday)

From The Reading List

New York Observer: The Biggest Threat to Your Success Is the Story You Tell Yourself About Success -- "We want so desperately to believe that those who have great empires set out to build one. Why? So we can indulge in the pleasurable planning of ours. So we can take full credit for the good that happens and the riches and respect that come our way. Narrative is when you look back at an improbable or unlikely path to your success and say: I knew it all along. Instead of: I hoped. I worked. I got some good breaks."

Forbes: How Ego Makes Business Leaders Less Successful -- "Life is hard, but we make it much harder. There is a Mike Tyson quote: If you are not humble, the world will visit humility upon you. I think that’s so sad. It’s sad, but true. Because we make ourselves deaf to feedback, because we overestimate our abilities, because we become consumed with ourselves, we end up subjecting ourselves not just to the inevitable stumbles or difficulties of life but catastrophic, painful failures. Every business should understand that and do what they can to prevent it from happening. The same goes for each individual."

Inc.: Why Most People Fail Immediately After a Big Success -- "Your ego, like all of our egos, is insatiable and is hungry for more praise. It is the equivalent of the lab rat being given a sugar cube: It is fine beforehand but, once the sweet treat is introduced, it will get agitated and angry if it doesn't get it again. We have to train ourselves not to take our success as the default. Instead, the practice of our work should be the default."

Read An Excerpt Of "Ego is the Enemy" By Ryan Holiday


"Started From The Bottom" by Drake

"I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick

"You're So Vain" by Carly Simon

"How Do You Like Me Now?" by Toby Keith

"Ego" by Beyoncé

This program aired on August 1, 2016.


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