10 Internal Signs of a Leadership Ego Problem

"Some people are openly arrogant. Even if they don’t always recognize it, others quickly see it in them....many of us struggle privately with ego. To help you determine if that’s the case for you, here are some signs honest, vulnerable pastors have shared with me over the years." - Church Leaders

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Bert Perry's picture

Good list, but there are two different ways of thinking about it that might also be helpful.  First of all, a lot of leadership ego problems show themselves in what seems to be (at the time) somewhat "minor" infractions of the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy and Titus.  For example, when James MacDonald started buying huge homes and bragging about flying to Pittsburgh for Stanley Cup games, he was saying a bit that he was having trouble with the part about being a lover of money.  That went to his disaster with T.D. Jakes and Mark Driscoll at Elephant Room 2 and even a partial endorsement of prosperity theology.  

Second, perhaps a great gut check for a pastor is the simple question of whether he's training men who will be able to replace him when he moves on, retires, or dies.  The trick here is that if you're training people to replace you, you are going to find it very difficult to build your own kingdom, which is what the list presented is all about at its core.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

mmartin's picture

I worked for about 3 years under a "leader" who was equal parts ego and part insecurity.  He thought he was all that as a leader, but was in reality extremely insecure.  Out of all the bosses I've ever had, he is one that taught me the most about how to be a good leader - by simply observing that I should to the exact opposite of him.  He would never, ever admit to making a mistake, except to say something like, "I'm sorry I trusted you," and would throw anyone under the bus without a second thought. 

So. Much. Drama.  #toxicworkenvironment

All this to say that I think some of these so-called leaders who seem to have a big ego, no doubt indeed have an over-sized ego, but could very well be just as driven by insecurity.  Insecurity against criticism.  Insecurity that they'll be viewed as insecure.  Insecurity that they'll be removed from their kingdom.  Insecurity of real or perceived failure.

In other words, they are driven less on principal and more by fear.

Everyone of us is to some degree or another insecure.  But, some people can't or won't be self-aware enough to understand themselves accordingly and when a person like that is in a position of authority . . . . .