Tag Archives: ego

  • -
smart boss

Smart Boss, Weak Leader, Do You Know One?

Tags : 

Do you have a smart boss who at the same time may be a weak leader? Could you be one?

They really aren’t that hard to find.

They’ve often been promoted because they are very good at their craft. Perhaps they are a master in their trade, a genius engineer, or an incredible salesperson. Yet, when it comes to honing the culture of the organization or team, they are completely clueless.

Intensifying the situation is that they often continue to achieve accolades from people around them who see them in this role of leader, but only from the technical aspect of the job.

Worse, junior team members may see supporting the boss as a powerful ticket to enhancing their own career.

This often boosts confidence in the boss that he or she is doing is exactly what is needed.

The reality check? The reality check may be that while their technical skills are exemplary their leadership skill has stalled the progress of the people who are relied upon every day to further the organizational cause.

The team is stuck. Performance is off.

Who gets the blame?

Smart Boss

In most cases the blame is passed downstream. “It’s not me [the boss], it must be you. [the employee]”

The opposing force of blame might be leadership responsibility. When leadership team members understand that no matter what, they are responsible, the dynamic shifts and the vision changes.

What are the biggest areas of breakdown?

Maybe it is employee dependability and reliability. Who owns that? Who made the hire? It is easy to suggest it was a bad hire, and while that does happen, is there any responsibility within the culture?

Maybe it is drama, end-runs, and breakdowns in the chain of command. Who owns that? It may be easy to suggest the persons engaged in such activity own it, yet the leader allows it to continue.

The patterns nearly always point to culture.

Who owns the culture? The best answer is, everyone. Everyone.

The communication, the behaviors, the actions and inactions, all point back to culture. The good and the bad, they’re part of the culture. Culture is not just about the good.

Leadership is a responsibility.

What is one of the most powerful traits of a smart boss, weak leader?

In a word, ego.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

  • -
flexible resilience

Flexible Resilience May Be The Change You Need

Tags : 

Do you demonstrate flexible resilience? Having persistence and being resilient doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for flexibility.

It all starts with the mission or goal. It is a form of beginning with the end in mind. A vision for the path to arrive at a specific point at some future time.

People value the concept of being disciplined, persistent, and committed to the goal.

What happens when the goal seems out of reach or across time the vision may hint of needing a slight shift? What happens if the estimates or forecasts were wrong? Maybe the budget wasn’t enough or the human side of change slowed the projected progress?

Should you continue on the same path?

Chosen Path

People will sometimes go to great lengths in an attempt to prove that they were correct. Their wish is to illustrate that they have been correct all along, often in spite of any associated costs.

It may be wise to adjust the mission, shift the goals, and still achieve a higher level of success. Being stuck with a locked-in focus sounds like persistence and commitment but it may be a slippery slope down a never-ending rabbit hole.

Flexible resilience seems like a better choice.

Flexible Resilience

You can attempt to continue to pursue the original path or you can learn from missteps, correct the direction, and still achieve more than you have before.

The act of being resilient, persistent, and committed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning, changing, and growing along the way.

Sometimes the cost of ego or pride is much higher than the cost of a slight shift in direction.

The most resilient know how to spot a rabbit hole before getting lost in it.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

  • -
ego stumble

Ego Stumble and Getting Out of Your Own Way

Tags : 

Have you ever had an ego stumble? One of those cases where you let your emotions guide your choices and it didn’t end well?

Emotion is critical in the workplace. Passion is an emotion. So is the excitement of launching a new marketing campaign, closing the sale, or achieving the goal. Emotion is important, yet it can also go wrong.

One of the biggest problems in the workplace with harassment claims is that ego got in the way.

A problem between two peers and you may find that ego played a role.

Supervisor to direct report, or the opposite, direct report to supervisor, and ego’s may be involved.

Leading by Inspiring

Leading today in a social environment that is much less about authority and much more about inspiration can be challenging. Inspiration means emotion and emotions are sometimes difficult to navigate.

When you make a choice about attending the meeting, participating in the meeting, or workplace respect you can bet that ego is involved.

Ego may feel like the right choice. Consider supervisor to direct report interactions. The supervisor, who clearly has the authority should lead, right?

Most would quickly say, “Yes.” However, the way we lead today may look a little different. Leading should be more pull and less push.

Navigating social climates and workplace culture has never been more challenging. We sometimes label this experience, workplace politics.

Yes, workplace politics, many people don’t like that game.

Ego Stumble

Blowing off the meeting may be about ego. The same is true for who gets credit for the project, the promotion, or even who gets the pay raise.

Sometimes you have to get out of your own way.

Making waves with the new hire, or the old regime, may feel satisfying for the moment. Yet, leading is going to require buy-in and buy-in is created by shared experiences.

If what you are sharing is mismanaged conflict there will be fewer opportunities for your future.

Don’t get in your own way.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

  • -
your best customers

3 Common Problems With Your Best Customers

Tags : 

It is often easy to find people complaining about their customer service experience. Do you understand how customer expectations determine the results of any touch point? Do you understand this about your best customers?

Let’s start with two simple definitions:

Customer expectations. What your customer expects, not what you tell them it should be, not what you think it is, and certainly not what is in the fine print of an agreement or contract if it disagrees with what they believe it to be.

Touch point. In this case a touch point is any time a customer interacts with you or a representative of your organization. It might be a person, a website, a telephone, or an email and many other scenarios. Any time your organization has contact with the customer.

So many people and businesses believe that they completely understand customer service. Perhaps they do, but do they practice it?

Problem Areas

Let’s consider a few common problems:

  • Time. You make an appointment. Either you must in order to do business or you do it because your own schedule is tight. It is not okay for either party to break their promise on the time commitment.
  • Needs. What you want to sell and what your customer needs might actually be two different things. Likewise, what your customer believes that they need and what they actually need may be two different things. Understand needs.
  • Ego. Ego is the killer of more deals and more business than any other is. Both parties, vendor and customer, may have a problem with this. Who wins? The customer must win, if they don’t the vendor loses despite what they might think or feel in the moment. If necessary lose your attitude or ego, or else lose your customer.

Your Best Customers

Some customers seem to have high demands, they also may value your business because you meet or exceed their expectations. Don’t misjudge this relationship. A customer who feels insulted by your lack of concern for their high demands may very well be a customer lost.

Every touch point with your customer you have a chance to make a difference, or not.

How do you treat your best customers?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

Search This Website

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Blog (Filter) Categories

Follow me on Twitter

Assessment Services and Tools

Strategic, Competency, or Needs Assessments, DiSC Assessments, 360 Feedback, and more. Learn more