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Lucky or Smart

February 2009

I have often dreamed of a study that somehow measures the impact of ego on workplace productivity. The results, I imagine, would be staggering, with as much as a 50 percent increase in productivity resulting from the eradication of egos. In an ego-free company, all good ideas from all sources would be implemented. Managers would hire only people smarter than themselves, and would never spend valuable time worrying about who gets credit for what. Meetings would be shorter, as no one would feel the need to drone on in an effort to impress his colleagues and managers. In a business world devoid of egos, profits would rise, salaries would increase, and unemployment would plummet. In all seriousness: A number of the planet's problems would be solved.

But it will never happen. As it turns out, businesses consist of human beings, and most human beings have either tragically fragile egos or uncontrollably big ones. All we can do is make an effort to control our own egos. As hard as it may be, there are real incentives to do so.

Lucky or Smart