Everybody has an ego, and a healthy ego is necessary for success in leadership or any field. You need to have faith in yourself and your abilities, and when you’re trying to achieve something difficult, it serves you well to have that voice in your head saying “You’re the one who can make this happen.”

But left unchecked, an ego can be a destructive force. It may keep you from admitting you don’t know something you need to learn, or persuade you not to consider the areas you need to improve upon. Sometimes it takes the form of the fear of looking foolish, which can keep you from speaking up or taking a chance on an opportunity.

Knowing how to manage your ego is important. Here are some of the approaches top leaders use:

They acknowledge and respect their ego. Great leaders understand that the first step in managing their ego is to acknowledge it and respect it. They never try to disingenuously pretend that it doesn’t exist. They respect their ego enough to understand how it serves them, even if it means having to face harsh realities about themselves.

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