3 Signs You’re Leading With Your Ego and How to Stop

Justin Zack
5 min readFeb 8, 2022
Photo by Orkun Azap on Unsplash

Being in a leadership position doesn’t make you immune to the ever-present ego.

We can all fall victim to having our ego drive our decisions as a leader.

If you’re new to leadership, or have taken over a team and realized it’s not going well, maybe you’re leading with your ego. Confusion about leading with your ego could leave your team untrusting and directionless.

In this article I cover three warning signs that you are leading with your ego and six steps you can take to stop.

What Your Ego Is and How It Can Affect Your Team

Ego can be defined as a “person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance.”

Our ego gives us confidence, but can also create an inflated sense of ourselves.

  • Ego doesn’t care if the group understands and buys into the direction you’re going in; it just cares that you’re getting what you want.
  • Ego doesn’t care if a team is cohesive and works together; it just cares that you’re getting the attention you want.

When leading with your ego, it means that you’re making decisions based on how it will affect your image rather than what’s best for the team or organization.

Three Warning Signs of Ego-Driven Leadership

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

We can all fall victim to having our ego drive our decisions as a leader and here a three common signs to watch out for:


You might be leading with your ego if you think that only some people deserve your attention and respect, or that some people are below you. You talk down to people or feel comfortable cutting people off when they speak.


Ego-driven leaders can also be self-absorbed. You get angry when something doesn’t go your way or when someone doesn’t agree with you. You might lose focus on other problems because you are fixated on your own feelings, rather than your team’s needs.

Justin Zack

Project leader. Product thinker. Write about human things. Find me at justinzack.com