Is low ego really a key requirement of senior leaders?

Is ego in the workplace a bad thing - and what does ego really mean at work?
HR Grapevine
HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
Is low ego really a key requirement of senior leaders?

As job opportunities go, CEO to the Prince and Princess of Wales is a pretty big deal. And when the role was listed as a vacancy on a recruitment website, there was one phrase which seemed to stand out more than any other - Low ego.

The role is listed on the website of Odgers Berndtson, (As a side note, if you’re keen to apply, the closing date is October 2 2023) and is officialy the CEO of Kensington Palace, but they’d report to Their Royal Highnesses, stated as THR in the description.

In addition to being ‘calm under pressure’, ‘highly accountable’ and ‘progressive and innovative in their approach’, in the official listing, it states that key attributes would include: “emotionally intelligent, with “low ego”, and strong self-awareness and understanding of their impact on others."

And it’s that word ‘ego’ that has caught the attention of the media, with outlets from the Telegraph and Mirror to Guardian and Tatler, all sharing that particular element.

Defining ego

The word ego often goes hand in hand with 'big'. Oh, you might say, they've got such a big ego. It has connotations of pride, confidence and even bullishness. Think of 'ego-driven', and egotistical. The Cambridge English Dictionary describes ego as your idea or opinion of yourself, especially your feeling of your own importance or ability.

If you want to be absolutely literal about it, Ego is Latin for 'I'.

But the word, in the context we might refer to it, is not so much a proud, over-confident person, as a spectrum of confidence, and even self-belief. It's not a clearly defined word, that's for sure. And as for 'low ego' - could that be synonymous with low self-belief?

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