Egonomics: What Makes Ego Our Greatest Asset (or Most Expensive Liability)

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 9, 2008 - Business & Economics - 272 pages
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The Questions
Arrogant, self-centered, stubborn, and insecure -- words that most people associate with ego. But in this original, eye-opening work, authors David Marcum and Steven Smith argue that the upside of ego is as powerful as the downside and answer questions about ego that have been a mystery to most people.

In his landmark book, Good to Great, Jim Collins showed that one of two key traits defined leaders who transformed organizations from good to great: humility. But if humility is so powerful, why don't more of us have it? Why does ego allow us to reach good results but never great ones, unless balanced by humility? Why do we need ego to personally succeed, while having it often interferes with the success we pursue?

The Answers
Using five years of exhaustive research, Marcum and Smith provide compelling evidence and matter-of-fact answers on striking the balance between ego and humility to reach the next level of leadership. The authors include case studies to illustrate how ego subtly interferes with success but also how ego sparks the drive to achieve, the nerve to try something new, and the tenacity to conquer adversity.

The Early Warning Signs
We all have moments when ego costs us everything from an honest conversation to a job or promotion. Through cross-disciplinary research, egonomics reveals how to detect four early warning signs that ego is becoming a liability, including how:

• being too competitive makes you less competitive

• defending ideas turns into defending yourself

• winning ideas can be halted by the creator's own intelligence and talent

• desiring respect and recognition can interfere with success

The Keys to Egonomic Health
Three key principles keep ego healthy:

• humility: striking the crucial balance between too much ego and not enough

• curiosity: blending free thinking and discipline without bias

• veracity: removing fear of giving or getting feedback to produce water-cooler honesty

With a clear focus on elevating the way you do business, egonomics is a liberating approach to becoming a rare and respected leader.
 

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Contents

the ego balance sheet
21
early warning sign 1being comparative
38
4
47
early warning sign 2being defensive
55
5
74
humility
100
8
127
intensity and intent
137
9
168
veracity
199
appendix
229
notes
235
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About the author (2008)

David Marcum and Steven Smith travel the world teaching people to utilize the corporate asset of ego and limit its liabilities. With decades of experience and degrees in management and psychology, theyıve worked with organizations including Microsoft, Accenture, the U.S. Air Force, General Electric, Disney, and State Farm. Their work has been published in eighteen languages in more than forty countries.

Steven B. Smith is chairman, president and chief executive officer of In2M Corporation, a financial software and services company that he co-founded.  For the past fifteen years, he has been actively involved in assisting and educating people in personal and small business financial management.  Before starting In2M, Smith served as a senior member of the executive team at Megahertz Corporation.  He also helped found two additional successful ventures, Floppy Copy and DeltaValve.  Smith holds a finance degree from the University of Utah.

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