• Shayne Leslie

Strategic Ego


From Advanced Strategic Planning: Five ways you can improve

(c) 2016 Shayne Leslie

Download for free here

There is no room for ego in strategic planning.

As Ryan Holiday in his book, Ego is the Enemy, says, “Failure and adversity are relative and unique to each of us. Almost without exception, this is what life does: it takes our plans and dashes them to pieces. Sometimes once, sometimes lots of times.”

Renowned American football coach, Bill Walsh, in his book, The Score Takes Care of Itself, says, “Almost always, your road to victory goes through a place called ‘failure’.”

We need to accept that failure is a part of planning and push through it. Your organisation’s strategy may take two years to yield any decent results. That’s tough, and leaders need to develop what Holiday calls a “stoic – even cheerful – resilience.

Someone who can get by without constant validation.”

If victory isn’t there for you to bolster your ego as an executive manager, a CEO or a director, your ego will want to blame others; blame your team, the recalcitrant board, the naïve CEO. This creates a dangerous culture.

For my clients who are not awash with vast sums of cash, and the region they’re located in is going through tough times as well, we often build strategies around doubling- down on learning; alive time, not passive-waiting-for-death we’ve-always-done-it-this- way time. The past isn’t coming back, although the ego wants to reassure you that you deserve the easy times to return.

It’s the small stuff that can kill an organisation, like setting the wrong price, a menu that’s too complicated to cook, management that are too full of their own ego to realise how they look when they ‘lead’, and a director that discloses trade secrets and micro- manages the CEO’s grammar.

It can be torture steadily planning for the small stuff when, really, what our ego wants to do is build flash venues and buy the latest gear and tell people how awesome we are in industry magazines. But it makes us better people, always striving to improve, always looking within ourselves to get better – professionally and personally. The thing is, doing good, solid work isn’t necessarily going to get you noticed, like your ego wants.

When the good times do return, we’ve created a business that is well led and managed, and we’ve developed organisational skill sets that are above industry standard.

That being said, it can be the big stuff that kills an organisation, too. Succumbing to an ego and engaging in joint ventures, developments and expensive refurbishments without doubling-down on the learning, leadership and understanding profitability never ends very well.

As Holiday says, “…the absolute best you’re capable of – that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves.”

From Advanced Strategic Planning: Five ways you can improve

(c) 2016 Shayne Leslie

Download for free here

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Address: Head Office, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

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